Definition of repeal
From Latin repellō (“drive or thrust back”), from re and pellō (“push or strike”)
repeal (third-person singular simple present repeals, present participle repealing, simple past and past participle repealed)
- (transitive) To cancel, invalidate, annul.
repeal (plural repeals)
- An act or instance of repealing.
A repeal is the amendment, removal or reversal of a law. This is generally done when a law is no longer effective, or it is shown that a law is having far more negative consequences than were originally envisioned.
If a campaign for the repeal of a particular law gains particular moment, an advocate of the repeal might become known as a "repealer". This happened in 19th century Britain to a group in favour of the re-separation of Ireland from the United Kingdom.
Many repeals are the result of changes in society, such as the old Jim Crow laws or blue laws. Other repeals are for more mundane things, such as century-old laws against dancing or cabarets. Some repeals are of extremely old and outdated laws that now seem bizarre, such as one from the 19th century against bathing.
The motion to rescind, repeal, or annul is used in parliamentary procedure to cancel or countermand an action or order previously adopted by the assembly.
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