Word of the Day : June 11, 2018


verb AB-ruh-gayt


1 : to abolish by authoritative action : annul

2 : to treat as nonexistent

Did You Know?

If you can't simply wish something out of existence, the next best thing might be to "propose it away." That's more or less what abrogate lets you do—etymologically speaking, at least. Abrogate comes from the Latin root rogare, which means "to propose a law," and ab-, meaning "from" or "away." We won't propose that you try to get away from the fact that rogare is also an ancestor in the family tree of prerogative and interrogate. Abrogate first appeared in English as a verb in the 16th century; it was preceded by an adjective sense meaning "annulled" or "cancelled," which is now obsolete.


"U.S. deterrence in the Taiwan Strait used to resemble U.S. deterrence elsewhere: Washington had a formal alliance with the Republic of China and stationed troops in Taiwan. But the United States abrogated the alliance treaty when it broke official ties with the Republic of China in 1979." — Scott Kastner, The Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2018

"While we must not engage in partisan political acts such as endorsing candidates and parties, to remain silent on the pressing issues of our time is to abrogate our moral responsibility." — Rabbi Dan Fink, The Idaho Statesman, 21 Apr. 2018

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of abrogate: r _ _ e _ l.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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