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rescinded; rescinding; rescinds

Essential Meaning of rescind

formal : to end (a law, contract, agreement, etc.) officially : to say officially that (something) is no longer valid The navy rescinded its ban on women sailors. The company later rescinded its offer/decision.

Full 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

Other Words from rescind

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for rescind



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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 16th century, and prescind (from praescindere) and exscind (from exscindere) followed in the next century. Exscind means "to cut off" or "to excise," and prescind means "to withdraw one's attention," but of the three borrowings, only rescind established itself as a common English term. Today, rescind is most often heard in contexts having to do with someone rescinding a contract or an offer, or with 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disloyalty, and following a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954, Oppenheimer's security clearance was rescinded.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 Eventually, the Navy rescinded its ban. — Randall Samborn, National Law Journal, 14 Jan. 1991 The navy rescinded its ban on women sailors. The company later rescinded its offer.
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Recent Examples on the Web After Sullivan’s ruling, advocates were hopeful that government officials would choose to rescind the policy. Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Among recent examples were the ruling Tuesday that the Biden administration could not immediately rescind a Trump-era immigration policy and a ruling issued a few hours after the interview striking down Biden’s eviction moratorium., 27 Aug. 2021 Among recent examples were the ruling on Tuesday that the Biden administration could not immediately rescind a Trump-era immigration policy and a ruling issued a few hours after the interview striking down Mr. Biden’s eviction moratorium. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2021 Membership of the board changed and on Oct. 13, a majority voted to rescind it. cleveland, 15 Nov. 2021 The rule says that unless a legislative board such as Clawson City Council votes to accept someone’s resignation, the person who resigned can rescind her or his resignation and simply return to the board, Scripture said. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 But an online petition to rescind a vaccine mandate for teachers, followed by a rebuttal from a parent, provided an exchange that strangely made common ground seem possible. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 The Kalkaska Schools board voted Monday night to rescind the mandate despite four new cases of coronavirus confirmed at its high school Monday, according to data from the state health department. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 22 Sep. 2021 Kiley vowed to rescind the statewide mask mandate for schools altogether. Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of rescind

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rescind

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French rescinder "to reduce, cut, cancel, break (a contract)," borrowed from Latin rescindere "to remove or lay bare by hewing and cutting, cut or tear open, cancel, annul," from re- re- + scindere "to split, cleave, separate" — more at shed entry 1

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The first known use of rescind was in 1579

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rescind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for rescind


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

More from Merriam-Webster on rescind

Nglish: Translation of rescind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rescind for Arabic Speakers


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