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repealed; repealing; repeals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

Other Words from repeal

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for repeal



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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called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again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 To fight inflation, President Biden should repeal or reduce Trump-era tariffs. Wsj Opinion Staff, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 Biden should repeal or reduce tariffs on Chinese products. Jim Puzzanghera,, 5 Aug. 2022 And last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a measure that would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, clearing the way for a vote on the House floor. Melissa Chan, NBC News, 28 July 2022 Can a president effectively repeal these 1883 and 1978 laws without consulting Congress? Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 25 July 2022 The House bill would repeal the statute once and for all. Mariam Khan, ABC News, 18 July 2022 The Legislature could also repeal the voucher law next year and replace it with a similar bill, thus nullifying the referendum effort. Veto from Ducey:Gov. Yana Kunichoff, The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2022 The $650 million in dispute centers on one big question: If state officials order tax cuts, campaign on them, then repeal them after Election Day but before taxpayers ever benefit, is that a tax hike? Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 26 June 2022 But even where abortions are protected by law, new political majorities can repeal those measures or dispute them in the courts. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of repeal

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repeal

Middle English repelen, borrowed from Anglo-French repeler, rapeler, reapeler "to call back, bring back, recover, rescind, deter," from re- re- + apeler, appeler to call, summon, call before a court" — more at appeal entry 2

Note: Both the form and meaning of the Anglo-French verb have been influenced to some degree by Latin repellere "to push away, fend off" (see repel).

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

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Repeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for repeal


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.


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on repeal

Nglish: Translation of repeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repeal for Arabic Speakers


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