repudiate

verb
re·​pu·​di·​ate | \ ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt How to pronounce repudiate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce repudiator (audio) \ 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 Not mentioned is the fact that classical and traditional styles have also been associated with fascist and totalitarian regimes; Hitler, most notoriously, repudiated modernism and mandated classicism as the state style of the Third Reich. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "An executive order to ‘make federal buildings beautiful again’ is a needless distraction," 7 Feb. 2020 Segregation forever!’’ — a view Wallace later repudiated. BostonGlobe.com, "Today in History," 14 Jan. 2020 Ben Solo—who has repudiated his father, Han Solo, and gone over to the dark side—gets an offer from Palpatine to take his place, together with Rey, and continue the reign of the Sith. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Robotic Familiarity of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”," 19 Dec. 2019 Despite her past Republicanism, Ms Warren could not win votes on the right without repudiating her party in some way; by opposing mass immigration, for example. The Economist, "Elizabeth Warren, saviour of capitalism," 21 June 2019 And in the 1990s, Bill Clinton (in 1992) and Tony Blair (in 1997) led the Democratic and Labour Parties back into power while repudiating much of the philosophy the parties had espoused at mid-century. David Kaiser, Time, "Donald Trump and Boris Johnson Rode the Same Wave Into Power. History Suggests the Parallels Won’t Stop There," 26 July 2019 Many protesters also repudiate Chinese sovereignty and demand self-determination for Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people, who are culturally and linguistically distinct from mainland Chinese. Time Staff, Time, "'A Platform for Dialogue.' Hong Kong's Leader Promises to Listen to a Community Torn Apart by Protest," 20 Aug. 2019 There was, for one thing, the need to repudiate the first half of the 20th century, during which science textbooks were replete with racial stereotypes and uncritical references to eugenics. Amy Harmon, New York Times, "Can Biology Class Reduce Racism?," 7 Dec. 2019 The university has publicly repudiated B.D.S. proposals, condemned attacks on pro-Israel groups and rejected calls to close its 10-year-old Tel Aviv campus. New York Times, "Wider Definition of Judaism Is Likely to Aid Crackdown on Colleges," 11 Dec. 2019

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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The first known use of repudiate was in 1545

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Repudiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repudiates. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for repudiate

repudiate

verb
How to pronounce repudiate (audio)

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 How to pronounce repudiate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce repudiate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce repudiator (audio) \ noun

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