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rescinded; rescinding; rescinds

transitive verb

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

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 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.

Example Sentences

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disloyalty, and following a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954, Oppenheimer's security clearance was rescinded.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 Eventually, the Navy rescinded its ban. Randall Samborn, National Law Journal, 14 Jan. 1991 The navy rescinded its ban on women sailors. The company later rescinded its offer.
Recent Examples on the Web House Republicans kicked off this year by passing a bill that would rescind nearly $71 billion that Congress had provided the IRS. Susan Tompor, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 The Supreme Court’s ruling has had impacts in states beyond New York, as other states that previously had similar concealed carry laws in place have also been forced to adjust or rescind their policies. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 11 Jan. 2023 House Republicans kicked off this year by passing a bill that would rescind nearly $71 billion that Congress had provided the IRS. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 11 Jan. 2023 Employers would also be required to rescind existing noncompetes and inform their staff that the clauses are no longer in effect. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 6 Jan. 2023 Defense Bill: Congress passed a $858 billion defense bill that would rescind the coronavirus vaccine mandate for troops and increase the defense budget $45 billion over President Biden’s request. Edward Wong, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Generous rains allowed Phoenix to rescind water use restrictions in October, and the heavy precipitation continued into March. Douglas C. Towne, The Arizona Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 The decision to prevent Smith from testifying created a firestorm that forced UF administrators to rescind it and launch an investigation into ethics policies and rules about taking on work outside of one’s academic duties. Jeffrey Schweers, Orlando Sentinel, 7 Oct. 2022 When the president issued an executive order revoking all licenses for private gun ownership in Nigeria in 2019, some lawmakers asked him to rescind it, citing citizens’ need for self-defense in the face of insecurity. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rescind was in 1579


Dictionary Entries Near rescind

Cite this Entry

“Rescind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​scind ri-ˈsind How to pronounce rescind (audio)
: cancel sense 2a
rescind a contract
: to do away with by legislative action
rescind a law
rescinder noun
rescindment noun

Legal Definition


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

transitive verb

: to take back and make void
rescinded its suspension of his license
: 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
: to make void by the same or by a superior authority
rescind a regulation

intransitive verb

: to rescind something (as a contract)

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

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