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 repudiate (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 Senate Republicans, from McConnell allies to close associates of former President Donald Trump, have answered the minority leader’s call, using conversations with reporters and Twitter posts to repudiate Greene. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "McConnell takes aim at GOP 'John Birch Society' problem to avoid 2022 backlash," 4 Feb. 2021 Establishment Republicans, including several who defended Cheney, had urged their House brethren to repudiate Greene. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump's backers failed to take down Liz Cheney, but the Republican 'civil war' isn't near over," 4 Feb. 2021 But with some of the outrage wrought by the Jan. 6 rampage already dissipating, few Republicans appeared ready to repudiate a leader who maintains broad sway over their party by joining Democrats in convicting him. New York Times, "With Impeachment Trial Looming, Republicans Waver on Punishing Trump," 25 Jan. 2021 After the president exhorted his supporters to march on the Capitol, chief executives used their strongest language to date to repudiate Mr. Trump, and some of his longtime allies have walked away. David Gelles, New York Times, "‘We Need to Stabilize’: Big Business Breaks With Republicans," 15 Jan. 2021 And unless and until Democrats are willing to forcefully repudiate this theory, instead of seeking to rhetorically appease its adherents, we are likely condemned to play out the all-too-familiar endgame of the Lost Cause yet again. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Unacceptable Costs of Appeasing MAGA Nation," 21 Dec. 2020 President-elect Joe Biden will take office under pressure to repudiate and rescind many, if not most, of the more than 400 executive actions President Trump has used to tighten the U.S. immigration system. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "Biden plans to spurn Trump immigration restrictions, but risk of new border crisis looms," 2 Dec. 2020 Acceptance of germ theory and vaccination would repudiate the founding premise of the profession that all disease stems from vertebral misalignments. Sean B. Carroll, Scientific American, "The Denialist Playbook," 8 Nov. 2020 This election was an opportunity not just to reject and repudiate our darker impulses. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Let’s never do anything like this again," 7 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for repudiate

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The first known use of repudiate was in 1545

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repudiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repudiate. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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 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 repudiate (audio) \ noun

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