Definition of abrogate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈabrəˌɡāt/


[with object] formal
1Repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement): a proposal to abrogate temporarily the right to strike
More example sentences
  • This section abrogates the common law principle, historically enshrined in the Judges' Rules, that only a defendant's voluntary statements can be relied on in a criminal trial.
  • Accordingly, it is not within the competence of the Rules Committee, to abrogate the common law.
  • The employees submitted that the Premier Plan and the associated trust could not be separated and the merger could not lawfully abrogate the trust rights to which they were entitled.
repeal, revoke, rescind, repudiate, overturn, annul;
Law  disallow, cancel, invalidate, nullify, void, negate, dissolve, countermand, declare null and void, discontinue;
reverse, retract, remove, withdraw, abolish, put an end to, do away with, get rid of, end, stop, quash, scrap;
Law  disaffirm
2Evade (a responsibility or duty): we believe the board is abrogating its responsibilities to its shareholders
More example sentences
  • Not reporting the expected effect of such an approach on costs abrogates our responsibility to the community.
  • This government has abrogated its responsibility to safeguard the most vulnerable in society.
  • Is there no concept of duty that investments banks won't abrogate for profit?


The verbs abrogate and arrogate are quite different in meaning. While abrogate means ‘repeal (a law),’ arrogate means ‘take or claim (something) for oneself without justification,’ often in the structure arrogate something to oneself, as in the emergency committee arrogated to itself whatever powers it chose.


Early 16th century: from Latin abrogat- 'repealed', from the verb abrogare, from ab- 'away, from' + rogare 'propose a law'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·ro·gate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.