Nullify is a word that has been in use since the late 1500s. We will examine the definition of the word nullify, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Nullify means to invalidate something, to cancel something out, to make something valueless. Nullify is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are nullifies, nullified, nullifying. The noun form is nullification, which is a term that has a special significance in America. Nullification is a legal theory which states that individual American states have a right to invalidate any federal law they believe is unconstitutional. However, no federal court has ever upheld the idea that individual states have a right to nullify a federal law. The push and pull of federal rights vs states’ rights has raged in the United States since its inception, the question has not been entirely settled even after the American Civil War.


On Wednesday, newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa called on delegates to “protect the integrity” of the ruling party’s 54th national conference and not let it “degenerate into controversy and huge legal suits that will nullify the result” of the election of the party’s top six. (Business Day)

The Telangana government has filed a petition in the Hyderabad High Court urging it to nullify its earlier permission given to the Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology (CBIT) to increase the yearly fee for BE/BTech students, admitted during 2016-17 and 2018-19, from Rs 1.13 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per annum. (The Times of India)

By way of background, jury nullification refers to the idea that in criminal cases, jurors can vote to acquit a defendant even if they have been persuaded that he violated a criminal statute because they’ve concluded that that is what justice requires. (The Huffington Post)

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