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repealed; repealing; repeals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



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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called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again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 If passed by voters, the measure would repeal Proposition 209, which was passed by California voters in 1996 and prohibited the consideration of race and gender by the state in areas including college admissions, employment, and public contracts. WSJ, "Race and Policing: Continuing Coverage," 24 June 2020 Now Carter and Acevero are pushing to repeal the officers’ bill of rights entirely, arguing that its protections to officers impedes accountability and transparency. Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post, "After Floyd’s killing, statehouses across the country move to enact police overhauls," 19 June 2020 The legislative initiative would repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Group with GOP ties launching petition to repeal Whitmer's emergency powers," 17 June 2020 The legislature passed an accompanying bill that will freeze the state’s property assessment rate if voters decide to repeal the Gallagher Amendment. Washington Examiner, "Colorado legislature concludes tumultuous session," 16 June 2020 After a week of mass protests, the New York State Legislature is voting to repeal 50-A, a state law that law enforcement uses to hide disciplinary records. Lauren Ashcraft,, "I’m A Comedian, DSA Member & I Have Anxiety. I’m Running For Congress.," 12 June 2020 Voters could repeal Prop. 209 by a simple majority. Alexei Koseff,, "California bill asking voters whether to repeal anti-affirmative action Prop. 209 advances," 10 June 2020 In their statement, US Soccer said its board of directors voted Tuesday to repeal their policy, which was put in place after US Women's National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's protests. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "US Soccer has repealed policy requiring players to stand for National Anthem," 11 June 2020 On Tuesday, the state Senate and Assembly voted to repeal 50-A, a decades-old law that kept officers' personnel records confidential. CBS News, "Cuomo says New York will be better post-pandemic," 10 June 2020

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, 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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Time Traveler for repeal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for repeal

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Repeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for repeal


How to pronounce repeal (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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