revoke

[ ri-vohk ]
/ rɪˈvoʊk /

verb (used with object), re·voked, re·vok·ing.

to take back or withdraw; annul, cancel, or reverse; rescind or repeal: to revoke a decree.
to bring or summon back.

verb (used without object), re·voked, re·vok·ing.

Cards. to fail to follow suit when possible and required; renege.

noun

Cards. an act or instance of revoking.

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Origin of revoke

1300–50; Middle English revoken<Latin revocāre to call again, equivalent to re-re- + vocāre to call

OTHER WORDS FROM revoke

re·vok·er, nounre·vok·ing·ly, adverbun·re·voked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does revoke mean?

Revoke means to take back, withdraw, or cancel.

Revoke is typically used in the context of officially taking back or cancelling some kind of right, status, or privilege that has already been given or approved. Passports and laws can be revoked, for example.

The process or an instance of revoking is called revocation.

A much more specific and less common sense of the word revoke is used in the context of card games, in which it means to break the rules by failing to follow suit when possible or required, such as in the game of bridge.

Example: The principal threatened to revoke our senior privileges if there are any pranks.

Where does revoke come from?

The first records of the word revoke come from the 1300s. It derives from the Latin verb revocāre, which means “to call back” or “to withdraw” and is a combination of re-, meaning “back” or “again,” and vocāre, “to call.” Vocāre is also the root of words like invoke, evoke, and provoke.

A right or privilege has to have been granted or approved in the first place before it can be called back or revoked. The word is often used in a legal context to refer to certain rights or credentials being taken away, such as a driver’s license. A person can have their access or status revoked as a punishment for breaking the rules or for other reasons. The same thing goes when revoke is used in less official or less serious contexts. For example, a parent might revoke a kid’s screen time as punishment for something.

The word is sometimes used humorously to suggest that some hypothetical credentials should be taken away for some kind of violation, as in You’re going to get your uncle card revoked if you forget your niece’s birthday again.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of revoke?

  • revocation (noun)
  • revocable (adjective)
  • revoker (noun)
  • revokingly (adverb)
  • unrevoked (adjective)

What are some synonyms for revoke?

What are some words that share a root or word element with revoke

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing revoke?

 

 

How is revoke used in real life?

Revoke is commonly used in serious and official contexts, but it can be used in less serious ways.

 

 

Try using revoke!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of revoke?

A. reverse
B. rescind
C. reward
D. repeal

Example sentences from the Web for revoke

British Dictionary definitions for revoke

revoke
/ (rɪˈvəʊk) /

verb

(tr) to take back or withdraw; cancel; rescindto revoke a law
(intr) cards to break a rule of play by failing to follow suit when able to do so; renege

noun

cards the act of revoking; a renege

Derived forms of revoke

revoker, noun

Word Origin for revoke

C14: from Latin revocāre to call back, withdraw, from re- + vocāre to call
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