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 ratifier (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 Back in the 1970s, Oregon was the 25th state to have its legislature ratify what was widely called the ERA, three days after South Dakota and just hours before Minnesota. oregonlive, "Oregon ratified the federal Equal Rights Amendment almost 47 years ago – and added a state version in 2014," 16 Jan. 2020 Thirty-eight states must ratify the ERA for the amendment to move forward; Virginia will be the 38th. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Marie Claire, "Women Are Not Granted Equality Anywhere in the Constitution," 15 Jan. 2020 In that post, Craft helped deliver a new free trade agreement among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The U.S. House of Representatives ratified that deal, known as the USMCA, in December. The Courier-Journal, "Who are the most influential people in Kentucky? Here are 20 to watch in 2020," 9 Jan. 2020 Since the right of return principle of international law was ratified in 1948, millions of people all over the world have returned to their native lands and countries. Boniface Mwangi, Quartz, "If Israelis have the right of return, we should extend that right to all native people," 18 Sep. 2019 In exchange, Zarif suggested, Trump could go to Congress to lift sanctions on Iran, as originally provided under the 2015 nuclear deal but not ratified in legislation. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Iran’s Foreign Minister Invited to Meet Trump in the Oval Office," 2 Aug. 2019 The 23rd Amendment, ratified in 1961, grants the District of Columbia three votes. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Look at Electoral College Rules," 17 Jan. 2020 Under the new collective bargaining agreement ratified in October, GM agreed to convert temporary workers with three years of continual service to permanent status. USA TODAY, "Gray whale tows calf, wolves on the move, John Dillinger won’t be exhumed; News from around our 50 states," 11 Jan. 2020 The action is in keeping with the terms struck in the 2019 four-year UAW contract that GM union members ratified in October after a 40-day nationwide strike. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Hundreds of GM temp workers were just made permanent," 8 Jan. 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

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ratify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratify?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=ratify01. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ratify


How to pronounce ratify (audio)

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 ratification (audio) \ noun
ratifier \ ˈra-​tə-​ˌfī-​ər How to pronounce ratifier (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on ratify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ratify

Spanish Central: Translation of ratify

Nglish: Translation of ratify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ratify for Arabic Speakers

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