rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Definition of ratify

transitive verb

: to approve and sanction formally : confirm ratify a treaty

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Other Words from ratify

ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun

Examples of ratify in a Sentence

A number of countries have refused to ratify the treaty. Lincoln's home state of Illinois was the first to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provided for the abolition of slavery.
Recent Examples on the Web Nevada and Illinois became the 36th and 37th states to ratify in 2017 and 2018. Sarah Rankin, Star Tribune, "Attorneys general seek summary judgment in ERA lawsuit," 19 Aug. 2020 The Volunteer State became the 36th to ratify — making the 19th Amendment law and securing for women their right to vote nationwide. USA Today, "‘Vote for Suffrage’," 18 Aug. 2020 During the joint session, which is required by law to ratify the results, members can object to the returns from any individual state as they are announced, which opens the door for Mr. Trump's GOP allies to contest a state's results. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Trump meets with GOP allies with eye on challenging count of electoral votes," 22 Dec. 2020 Also on this day: 1787: Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Bryan Robinson, Fox News, "This Day in History: Dec. 12," 12 Dec. 2020 Under the statute, an advance notice period and other formalities are required to ratify such unions. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "It was never easy being an interfaith couple in India. Now some states are making it harder.," 26 Nov. 2020 Of course, getting the 38 states required to ratify this amendment would be an exceedingly tall order. Orrin G. Hatch, National Review, "Avoiding Judicial Armageddon," 28 Oct. 2020 The conversation also came days before Tuesday's runoff elections in Georgia that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win. NBC News, "Trump presses Georgia official to 'find' votes, Pelosi wins re-election and a ruling for WikiLeaks' Assange," 4 Jan. 2021 The Kyoto 1997 protocol fell apart after the US signed but failed to ratify the agreement, leaving climate negotiations in limbo for a decade. Fiona Harvey, Wired, "Can the Paris Agreement Still Avert Climate Chaos?," 26 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ratify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ratify

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ratify

Middle English ratifien, from Anglo-French ratifier, from Medieval Latin ratificare, from Latin ratus determined, from past participle of reri to calculate — more at reason entry 1

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Time Traveler for ratify Time Traveler

The first known use of ratify was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ratify

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ratify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratify. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for ratify



English Language Learners Definition of ratify

: to make (a treaty, agreement, etc.) official by signing it or voting for it


rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-fī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Kids Definition of ratify

: to give legal approval to (as by a vote)
rat·​i·​fy | \ ˈra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce ratify (audio) \
ratified; ratifying

Legal Definition of ratify

: to make valid or effective especially : to adopt or affirm (as the prior act or contract of an agent) by express or implied consent with the effect of original authorization unable to rescind the contract because he ratified it by accepting the benefits — compare reform

Other Words from ratify

ratification \ ˌra-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī-​ər How to pronounce ratify (audio) \ noun

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