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repealed; repealing; repeals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called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again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

Democrats’ win in the House means Republicans won’t be able to take another shot at repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which extended health insurance coverage to millions of Americans. Marley Jay, The Seattle Times, "Stocks gain after midterms as tech, health care, energy rise," 7 Nov. 2018 Now a conservative talk radio host, DeMaio is coordinating the effort to amend the constitution to repeal the tax and fee increases. Joshua Stewart,, "GOP hopes to use gas tax repeal, sanctuary state controversy to boost conservative voter turnout," 5 May 2018 The agitation around repealing the Rent Control Preemption Act has stimulated unprecedented discussion around the idea of rent regulation in recent months. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "News / Housing Here's what's next in the push to lift the ban on rent control in Illinois," 28 Mar. 2018 Trump’s effort to repeal Obamacare narrowly failed in the Senate in 2017. Elana Schor, The Seattle Times, "Democrats pivot to health care as Trump attacks ‘Obamacare’," 27 Mar. 2019 There was a brief prohibition against all means of contraception in 1588 under Pope Sixtus V, however, it was ignored by both the clergy and the commoners, and repealed immediately following Pope Sixtus V’s death. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Catholic Church Has No Moral Argument on Abortions," 11 Feb. 2019 Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press The lawsuit, which was first dismissed as largely frivolous when it was filed in February, represents the biggest risk to the ACA since the Republican effort to repeal the law in 2017. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional Without Insurance-Coverage Penalty," 15 Dec. 2018 Cubanski said that the Trump administration's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act's mandate that requires nearly everyone be insured is one factor that will lead to higher Medicare hospital fund spending. Jayne O'donnell And Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Medicare's hospital fund could run out of money by 2026, trustees report says," 5 June 2018 Trump’s ruling is specifically designed to repeal one of President Obama’s signature policies designed to fight climate change. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Trump Administration Forecasts 7 Degrees Fahrenheit of Global Warming by 2100," 28 Sep. 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

4 May 2019

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Time Traveler for repeal

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

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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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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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