Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Abrogate

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is abrogate. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Abrogate is a formal word that means “to fail to do what is required by something, such as a responsibility,” or “to end or cancel something in a formal and official way.”

// Citizens voted to abrogate the antiquated law.

// The company’s directors are accused of abrogating their responsibilities.

ABROGATE in Context

“There have been a lot of bad days for the climate in the Australian parliament…. Too many bad days. A dark period where the Liberal and National parties abrogated a core responsibility of being a governing party—the responsibility to face the future.” — Katharine Murphy, The Guardian(London), 3 Aug. 2022

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 rogāre, which means “to propose a law,” and ab-, meaning “from” or “away.” Proposals aside, there’s no abrogating our responsibility to report that rogāre is the root of a number of English words, including prerogative, derogatory, arrogant, surrogate, and interrogate.

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