repeal

To repeal something — usually a law, ordinance or public policy — is to take it back. For example, dog lovers might want the town council to repeal the law that says residents can have no more than four dogs.

The verb repeal comes from the Anglo-French word repeler, “to call back.” Repeal is almost always used in the context of law: When a government decides to get rid of an ordinance or law, that ordinance or law is repealed. That means it is no longer in effect, like if the weather becomes unseasonably hot, the schools might repeal the part of the dress code to permit students to wear shorts.

Definitions of repeal
  1. verb
    cancel officially
    synonyms: annul, countermand, lift, overturn, rescind, reverse, revoke, vacate
    see moresee less
    types:
    go back on, renege, renege on, renegue on
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
    type of:
    cancel, strike down
    declare null and void; make ineffective
  2. noun
    the act of abrogating; an official or legal cancellation
    synonyms: abrogation, annulment
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    derogation
    (law) the partial taking away of the effectiveness of a law; a partial repeal or abolition of a law
    vacation
    the act of making something legally void
    recall
    the act of removing an official by petition
    revocation
    the act (by someone having the authority) of annulling something previously done
    type of:
    cancellation
    the act of cancelling; calling off some arrangement
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week