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repealed; repealing; repeals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 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called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again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 Republican legislators in Nebraska voted to repeal the punishment in 2015, although the state’s residents then voted to bring the punishment back. Maurice Chammah And Keri Blakinger, USA TODAY, "Should America's death penalty system be fixed? More Republican lawmakers think so," 16 Apr. 2021 The Maryland Senate voted unanimously to repeal the song earlier this month, Kagan said. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Maryland moves to repeal its state song, a pro-Confederate anthem that urges violence and calls Lincoln a 'despot'," 30 Mar. 2021 The House in 2018 voted to repeal the signature-gathering law on the final night of the session, but the bill died when the Senate refused to take up the bill. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Exclusive: Inside the secret meeting at the governor’s mansion that saved Utah’s signature path for candidates," 10 Mar. 2021 The Ohio Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal the nuclear subsidies in HB6, with the measure now heading to the House for consideration. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "In filing, FirstEnergy said state regulator acted for the company’s benefit as a result of $4.3 million payment," 4 Mar. 2021 The Senate voted last week to repeal the measure, as Republicans who control the Legislature continue to defy doctors, nurses, hospitals, schools, chambers of commerce and scores of others who have begged them to keep the mandate in place. Scott Bauer, Star Tribune, "Wisconsin Republicans push to repeal state mask mandate," 4 Feb. 2021 The Assembly voted 52-42 to repeal the mandate, with seven Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition. Scott Bauer, ajc, "Wisconsin governor issues new mask mandate after GOP repeal," 4 Feb. 2021 More than three years ago, Jessica Rosenworcel could only react in horror as her Republican counterparts on the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the US government’s Net neutrality rules. Tony Romm,, "Under Biden, Democrats are ready to revive Net neutrality rules," 27 Jan. 2021 The City Council voted unanimously to repeal New Mexico’s income tax on Social Security, a move that has no legal force. Elyse Kelly, Washington Examiner, "New Mexico mayor: Taxing Social Security benefits is an unfair double tax," 23 Dec. 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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for repeal



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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