re·​scind | \ ri-ˈsind How to pronounce rescind (audio) \
rescinded; rescinding; rescinds

Definition of rescind

transitive verb

1 : to take away : remove
2a : take back, cancel refused to rescind the order
b : to abrogate (a contract) and restore the parties to the positions they would have occupied had there been no contract
3 : to make void by action of the enacting authority or a superior authority : repeal rescind an act

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rescind

rescinder noun
rescindment \ ri-​ˈsin(d)-​mənt How to pronounce rescind (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rescind



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Rescind and the lesser-known words exscind and prescind all come from the Latin verb scindere, which means "to cut" or "to split." Rescind was adapted from its Latin predecessor rescindere in the second half of the 16th century, and prescind (from praescindere) and exscind (from exscindere) followed in the mid-17th century. Exscind means "to cut off" or "to excise," and prescind means "to withdraw one's attention," but neither appears frequently in contemporary English. Of the three borrowings, only rescind established itself as a common English term. You might hear of someone rescinding a contract or an offer, or of a legislative body rescinding a law.

Examples of rescind in a Sentence

The enemies these efforts made for him concocted charges of disloyalty, and following a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954, Oppenheimer's security clearance was rescinded. — Kai Bird et al., Smithsonian, Aug. 2005 But Maria convinced Leverich that she had the authority to rescind the executor's decision to appoint him as biographer. — John Lahr, New Yorker, 19 Dec. 1994 The Navy barred its personnel from his church, but he challenged the decree in federal court as a constitutional violation of freedom of religion. Eventually, the Navy rescinded its ban. — Randall Samborn, National Law Journal, 14 Jan. 1991 The navy rescinded its ban on women sailors. The company later rescinded its offer.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Department of Homeland Security officials were stunned at President-elect Joe Biden’s decision not to rescind President Trump’s border policies on his first day in office. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Trump officials say Biden delayed border plans after they warned of 'new crisis'," 30 Dec. 2020 Giuliani claimed in a statement the campaign had already accomplished its goal, after two Republican members of the canvassing board in the county that includes Detroit sought to rescind their votes certifying Wayne County’s election results. Mario Parker,, "Trump to Meet With Michigan Republicans in Bid to Overturn Vote," 19 Nov. 2020 There is no legal mechanism for canvassing board members to rescind their votes, Bureau of Elections spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer said. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Secretary of State: Post-election 'performance audit' planned in Wayne County," 19 Nov. 2020 But Trump’s decision to rescind DACA in September 2017 repelled Libre and caused Americans for Prosperity to begin publicly advocating on behalf of Dreamers. Marcela Valdes, New York Times, "The Fight to Win Latino Voters for the G.O.P.," 24 Nov. 2020 Herak, along with Council Vice President Bernie Zemen, D-1st; and Councilman Roger Sheeman, R-5th, voted to rescind his proclamation. Michelle L. Quinn,, "Disagreement over statute brings raised voices to Highland meeting," 11 Nov. 2020 The Palm Beach County School Board voted unanimously to rescind an Oct. 7 vote to rehire William Latson, former principal at Spanish River High in Boca Raton. Scott Travis,, "Principal fired for second time over Holocaust remarks," 2 Nov. 2020 The decision to rescind its 4-3 vote last month to reinstate Spanish River High School principal William Latson was made amid a storm of angry phone calls from across the country. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Florida school board rescinds vote to rehire principal fired over Holocaust remarks," 2 Nov. 2020 On the other side, legislators in at least four states — Nebraska, Idaho, Kentucky and South Dakota — have voted to rescind their previous approval of the ERA. Bob Egelko,, "Equal Rights Amendment battle highlights obstacles to challenging federal decisions in court," 23 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rescind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rescind

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rescind

Latin rescindere to annul, from re- + scindere to cut — more at shed entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rescind

Time Traveler for rescind

Time Traveler

The first known use of rescind was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about rescind

Statistics for rescind

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rescind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rescind


How to pronounce rescind (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rescind

formal : to end (a law, contract, agreement, etc.) officially : to say officially that (something) is no longer valid


re·​scind | \ ri-ˈsind How to pronounce rescind (audio) \

Legal Definition of rescind

transitive verb

1 : to take back and make void rescinded its suspension of his license
2 : to abrogate (a contract or transaction) by mutual agreement, judicial decree, or unilateral declaration because of fraud, mistake, duress, misrepresentation, illegality, a breach, or another sufficient ground with both parties restored to their positions before the contract was made — compare cancel, terminate
3 : to make void by the same or by a superior authority rescind a regulation

intransitive verb

: to rescind something (as a contract)

Other Words from rescind

rescindable \ -​ˈsin-​də-​bəl \ adjective

History and Etymology for rescind

Latin rescindere to cut loose, annul, from re- away, back + scindere to cut, split

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on rescind

What made you want to look up rescind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!