re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \
repealed; repealing; repeals

Definition of repeal

transitive verb

1 : to rescind or annul by authoritative act especially : to revoke or abrogate by legislative enactment
3 obsolete : to summon to return : recall

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Other Words from repeal

repeal noun
repealable \ ri-​ˈpē-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce repealable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for repeal


abandon, abort, call, call off, cancel, cry off, drop, recall, rescind, revoke, scrap, scrub


continue, keep

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Examples of repeal in a Sentence

the company called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again

Recent Examples on the Web

As a candidate for governor, Dunleavy pledged to introduce legislation to fully repeal it. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Gov. Dunleavy signs legislation to repeal, replace the crime-reform measure SB 91," 9 July 2019 Named after the constitutional amendment that enacted prohibition and the subsequent amendment that repealed it, 18th & 21st is the other side of the coin. Denisa Protani,, "Dinner and and a Show with The Mighty O.A. R," 24 June 2019 The government tried to slow us down: Some states doubled the size of their highway patrols. Overwhelming public opposition finally led Congress to begin relaxing the limit in the 1980s and, finally, to repeal it entirely in 1995. Dan Albert, Vox, "Driverless cars are coming. We’ll miss the thrill of the ride.," 21 June 2019 Instead, Republicans struggled to rally around a plan to replace the ACA in their failed 2017 bid to repeal it. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump Mounts New Push on Health Care Ahead of 2020 Election," 21 June 2019 Georgia had a chemical castration statute but repealed it. Washington Post, "Alabama orders ‘chemical castration’ of some child molesters," 16 June 2019 Citizens repealed it 2004 Cincinnati has scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index since 2014. Sharon Coolidge,, "City of Cincinnati will raise pride flag on City Hall for the first time," 16 June 2019 Georgia had a chemical castration statute but repealed it., "‘Chemical castration,’ authorized by new Alabama law, rarely used in other states," 16 June 2019 The central lesson of both Obamacare and the efforts to repeal it is that getting 60 votes for health care reform is almost impossible. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repeal.' 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 repeal

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repeal

Middle English repelen, from Anglo-French repeler, literally, to call back, from re- + apeler to appeal, call

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Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for repeal

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

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English Language Learners Definition of repeal

: to officially make (a law) no longer valid


re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \
repealed; repealing

Kids Definition of repeal

: to do away with especially by legislative action The law was repealed.
re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \

Legal Definition of repeal

: to rescind or annul by authoritative act especially : to revoke or abrogate by legislative enactment legislatures repealing statutes in light of a recent Supreme Court decision

Other Words from repeal

repeal noun

History and Etymology for repeal

Anglo-French repeler, from Old French, from re- back + apeler to appeal, call, from Latin appellare to address, entreat, call by name

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More from Merriam-Webster on repeal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repeal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repeal

Spanish Central: Translation of repeal

Nglish: Translation of repeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repeal for Arabic Speakers

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