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Word of the Day: Abrogate

Abrogate

ˈabrəˌɡāt

VERB

Repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement).

Evade (a responsibility or duty).

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

“The new prime minister’s first action in office was to abrogate the unpopular tax laws.”

“Jeans and sneakers became the new norm after the student council successfully lobbied to abrogate the school uniform policy.”

“My brother always tries to abrogate jury duty, but I’ve never been summoned.”

WORD ORIGIN

Latin, early 16th century

WHY THIS WORD?

“Abrogate” comes from the Latin verb “abrogare,” which can be broken into “ab-” (meaning “away”) and “rogare” (meaning “propose a law”). Consider, for example, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in the United States, and launched Prohibition in 1919. The unpopular law to abrogate drinking is considered to be a failure, as people still found ways to drink and bootleggers made massive amounts of money through criminal enterprises surrounding alcohol. In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th, becoming the only amendment to abrogate another.

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