repudiate

verb
re·​pu·​di·​ate | \ ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt \
repudiated; repudiating

Definition of repudiate

transitive verb

1a : to refuse to accept especially : to reject as unauthorized or as having no binding force repudiate a contract repudiate a will
b : to reject as untrue or unjust repudiate a charge
2 : to refuse to acknowledge or pay repudiate a debt
3 : to refuse to have anything to do with : disown repudiate a cause … unless they repudiated the failed policies of the past and took decisive action, the party might fracture or lose its hold on the electorate.— Walter A. McDougall
4 dated : to divorce or separate formally from (a woman to whom one is betrothed or married) "The incident was witnessed by … the Marquess Zanipolo, who, in consequence, has already repudiated his unhappy bride."— Edith Wharton

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Other Words from repudiate

repudiator \ ri-​ˈpyü-​dē-​ˌā-​tər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for repudiate

decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering. decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations. declined his party's nomination refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for. refused to lend them the money reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding. rejected the manuscript as unpublishable repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance. teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation. spurned his overtures of friendship

Did You Know?

In Latin, the noun "repudium" refers to the rejection of a spouse or prospective spouse, and the related verb repudiare means "to divorce" or "to reject." In the 16th century, English writers used the derivative "repudiate" to mean "to divorce," when in reference to a wife, or "to disown," when in reference to a member of one's family, or just generally "to reject or cast off." By the 19th century the word had also come to be used for the rejection of things that one does not accept as true or just, ranging from opinions and accusations to contracts and debts.

Examples of repudiate in a Sentence

During the Algerian war of independence, the United States had also repudiated France's claimed right to attack a town in neighboring Tunisia that succored Algerian guerrillas … — Christopher Hitchens, Harper's, February 2001 When witnessing abuse, boys will identify with the seemingly powerful father who appears to be a "winner" and will repudiate the mother, who seems to be the "loser." — Constance Adler, Shape, September 1993 While a wife could divorce her husband only for good reason … a husband could repudiate his wife without giving any reason … — Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991 Voters in Myanmar … appeared today to have sharply repudiated their military rulers and to have given a landslide victory to the main opposition party … — Steven Erlanger, New York Times, 29 May 1990 Photographs, the most ubiquitous emblem of mass culture, found an obvious place in Pop Art, and were embraced by those intent on repudiating the preciosity of action painting. — Naomi Rosenblum, A World History of Photography, 1989 Three weeks after the agreement was made and before any specifications were submitted, the buyer repudiated the agreement. — John D. Calamari and Joseph M. Perillo, The Law of Contracts, 1987 a generation that has repudiated the values of the past He has publicly repudiated the government's policies. He published an article that repudiates the study's claims. She says she has evidence which repudiates the allegations.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While the mix of overreach and underthink that characterized both parties’ Wilsonian foreign-policy consensus has been rightly repudiated, American foreign policy can’t operate without a moral component. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Twilight of Human-Rights Diplomacy," 17 Dec. 2018 Democrats repeatedly tried to get Horowitz to repudiate Trump’s claims that the findings somehow exonerate the president in the Russia probe. Devlin Barrett, BostonGlobe.com, "Republicans hammer FBI over handling of Clinton e-mail probe," 20 June 2018 Democrats repeatedly tried to get Horowitz to repudiate Trump's claims that the findings somehow exonerate the president in the Russia probe. chicagotribune.com, "Republicans, Democrats spar at hearing over FBI's handling of Clinton probe," 19 June 2018 Ansel doesn’t repudiate narrative with abstraction in the manner of her modernist forefathers. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Pushing Painting’ presents the medium’s possibilities," 20 June 2018 Latini had long ago repudiated the group and changed her mind about conversion therapy. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "Seminary board votes to fire president," 14 Mar. 2018 Birthright citizenship The 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868, repudiating the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, an 1857 ruling that denied citizenship to people of African descent born in the United States. Salvador Rizzo, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking Trump’s talk on birthright citizenship, military at the border," 31 Oct. 2018 All agree that the amendment repudiated the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. Aziz Huq, Vox, "The faulty legal logic behind Trump’s birthright citizenship proposal.," 31 Oct. 2018 Van Lathan, the black TMZ employee who repudiated West’s comments on camera, was quickly championed as a hero. Jazmine Hughes, New York Times, "How ‘Desus & Mero’ Conquered Late Night," 18 June 2018

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

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for repudiate

Latin repudiatus, past participle of repudiare, from repudium rejection of a prospective spouse, divorce, probably from re- + pudēre to shame

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for repudiate

The first known use of repudiate was in 1545

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More Definitions for repudiate

repudiate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of repudiate

formal
: to refuse to accept or support (something) : to reject (something or someone)
: to say or show that (something) is not true

repudiate

verb
re·​pu·​di·​ate | \ ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt \
repudiated; repudiating

Kids Definition of repudiate

1 : to refuse to have anything to do with They repudiated their wayward son.
2 : to refuse to believe or approve of She repudiated the rumors.

repudiate

transitive verb
re·​pu·​di·​ate | \ ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt \
repudiated; repudiating

Legal Definition of repudiate

: to disavow or reject an obligation (as a debt) or duty (as performance under a contract) specifically : to indicate an inability or unwillingness to perform as promised under (a contract)

Other Words from repudiate

repudiator \ -​ˌā-​tər \ noun

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