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verb (used with object)
  1. to revoke or withdraw formally or officially: to repeal a grant.
  2. to revoke or annul (a law, tax, duty, etc.) by express legislative enactment; abrogate.
  1. the act of repealing; revocation; abrogation.

Origin of repeal

1275–1325; Middle English repelen < Anglo-French repeler, equivalent to re- re- + (a)peler to appeal
Related formsre·peal·a·bil·i·ty, re·peal·a·ble·ness, nounre·peal·a·ble, adjectivere·peal·er, nounnon·re·peal·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·peal·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·re·peal·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·pealed, adjective

Synonyms for repeal

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for repeal


verb (tr)
  1. to annul or rescind officially (something previously ordered); revokethese laws were repealed
  2. obsolete to call back (a person) from exile
  1. an instance or the process of repealing; annulment
Derived Formsrepealable, adjectiverepealer, noun

Word Origin for repeal

C14: from Old French repeler, from re- + apeler to call, appeal


noun the Repeal
  1. (esp in the 19th century) the proposed dissolution of the Union between Great Britain and Ireland
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for repeal

late 14c., from Anglo-French repeler, Old French rapeler "call back, call in, call after, revoke" (Modern French rappeler), from re- "back" (see re-) + apeler "to call" (see appeal (v.)). Related: Repealed; repealing.


late 15c., from repeal (v.), or from Anglo-French repel, Old French rapel (Modern French rappel) "a recall appeal," back-formation from rapeler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper