re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \
repealed; repealing; repeals

Definition of repeal

transitive verb

1 : to rescind or annul by authoritative act especially : to revoke or abrogate by legislative enactment
3 obsolete : to summon to return : recall

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Other Words from repeal

repeal noun
repealable \ ri-​ˈpē-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for repeal



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Examples of repeal in a Sentence

the company called the furniture store to repeal the order for six new desks in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition Amendment of 1919, thus making the sale, distribution, and use of alcohol legal once again
Recent Examples on the Web In the case of the health law, which was a permanent policy change, Republicans had to assemble the votes to repeal it and repeatedly failed. New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 In the meantime, Republicans won elections on promises to repeal it, coming closest during the Trump administration. Noah Bierman Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 If the residents of Massachusetts, the only state fully committed to TCI, vote to repeal it, that will likely be the end of the program. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 Instead, under the accompanying SB195, any face covering mandates in schools must come as a recommendation from a county health department, with the local county governing body having the authority to repeal them. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Sep. 2021 The law survived a decade of Republican efforts to repeal it or get the Supreme Court to strike it down. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2021 School districts with such mandates will have 10 days to repeal them or not qualify for the funds, according to the governor’s spokesman, C.J. Karamargin. Fox News, 18 Aug. 2021 The money also bought ads to pressure state lawmakers to pass the bill, and to undermine a campaign seeking to repeal it. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 16 Aug. 2021 That prompted Wood to create a permanent rule with the intent to repeal it at some point. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 6 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repeal.' 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 repeal

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repeal

Middle English repelen, borrowed from Anglo-French repeler, rapeler, reapeler "to call back, bring back, recover, rescind, deter," from re- re- + apeler, appeler to call, summon, call before a court" — more at appeal entry 2

Note: Both the form and meaning of the Anglo-French verb have been influenced to some degree by Latin repellere "to push away, fend off" (see repel).

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Time Traveler for repeal

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The first known use of repeal was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for repeal



English Language Learners Definition of repeal

: to officially make (a law) no longer valid


re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \
repealed; repealing

Kids Definition of repeal

: to do away with especially by legislative action The law was repealed.


transitive verb
re·​peal | \ ri-ˈpēl How to pronounce repeal (audio) \

Legal Definition of repeal

: to rescind or annul by authoritative act especially : to revoke or abrogate by legislative enactment legislatures repealing statutes in light of a recent Supreme Court decision

Other Words from repeal

repeal noun

History and Etymology for repeal

Anglo-French repeler, from Old French, from re- back + apeler to appeal, call, from Latin appellare to address, entreat, call by name

More from Merriam-Webster on repeal

Nglish: Translation of repeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repeal for Arabic Speakers


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