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From Latin repudiātus, from repudiō (I cast off, reject), from repudium (divorce), 1540s.[1]



repudiate (third-person singular simple present repudiates, present participle repudiating, simple past and past participle repudiated)

  1. (transitive) To reject the truth or validity of; to deny.
    Synonyms: deny, contradict, gainsay
  2. (transitive) To refuse to have anything to do with; to disown.
    Synonyms: disavow, forswear; see also Thesaurus:repudiate
    • 1980, Agnew, Spiro, Go Quietly . . . Or Else[1], New York: William Morrow and Company, →ISBN, page 34:
      I disagreed completely—and still do—with President Nixon's initiative to "normalize" relations with the People's Republic of China. The American people—against the will of the majority, if the polls are correct—have been forced to go along with the Carter administration's decision to repudiate our mutual defense treaty with the free Chinese regime on Taiwan, and to give Peking the diplomatic and economic muscle to seriously impair the security and prosperity of the seventeen million people on the island. This is a strange way to reward a loyal ally whose hardworking and creative citizens have made their country a model success story for the capitalistic free-enterprise system.
  3. (transitive) To refuse to pay or honor (a debt).
    Synonym: welsh
  4. (intransitive) To be repudiated.


Joyce Carol Oates: "Chaucer . . . not only came to doubt the worth of his extraordinary body of work, but repudiated it"

Eldridge Cleaver: "If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America."

1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 34, in Vanity Fair, London: Bradbury and Evans  [], published 1848, OCLC 3174108:
'... she dictated to Briggs a furious answer in her own native tongue, repudiating Mrs. Rawdon Crawley altogether...'

"The seventeenth century sometimes seems for more than a moment to gather up and to digest into its art all the experience of the human mind which (from the same point of view) the later centuries seem to have been partly engaged in repudiating." T. S. Eliot, Andrew Marvell.

"The fierce willingness to repudiate domination in a holistic manner is the starting point for progressive cultural revolution." --bell hooks


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “repudiate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of repudiō