annul 1 *nullify, negate, invalidate, abrogate
Analogous words: *neutralize, negative, counteract: cancel, efface, obliterate, blot out, *erase: annihilate, *abolish, extinguish
2 Annul, abrogate, void, vacate, quash are used chiefly in legal context and mean to deprive of validity, force, or authority. Though varying little in denotation, these words are not always interchangeable, their appropriate selection being dependent on the character or status of the invalidating agent and on the character of the thing invalidated.
Annul is the most general term, applicable to something (as a right, marriage, charter, or statute) that may be adjudged invalid or void. It implies the exercise of competent legal authority

had parliament, immediately after the emanation of this charter . . . annulled the instrument . . . the perfidy of the transaction would have been universally acknowledged— John Marshall

To abrogate is the act of one having force and authority, and often legal jurisdiction. A ruler or an arbiter as well as a court may abrogate something (as a law, a treaty, or a convention) previously effective and in effect or in intent abolish it

we are not . . . called upon to abrogate the standards of values that are fixed, not by you and not by me, but by . . . time— Lowes

Void in legal context retains much of its basic meaning, to make empty or null. It is often interchangeable with annul

the state supreme bench . . . voided the referendum— A swell & Michelson

Unlike the latter it need not imply the action of a legally competent authority

it is the insanity of the testator that voids his will, not the act of a court

Only competent legal authority can vacate or make ineffectual or invalid something that previously was effectual or valid

vacate proceedings after the discovery of fraud


vacate a grant of crown property

Quash is a strictly legal term applied chiefly to indictments thrown out of court as defective.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • annul — an·nul /ə nəl/ vt an·nulled, an·nul·ling 1: to declare (a marriage) to have never validly existed compare divorce 2 a: to make legally void b: to declare to no longer have legal effect Merria …   Law dictionary

  • annul — an‧nul [əˈnʌl] verb [transitive] LAW to officially state that an official decision or a contract is no longer valid : • They are seeking to have the bankruptcy order annulled. * * * annul UK US /əˈnʌl/ verb [T] LAW ► to state officially that… …   Financial and business terms

  • Annul — An*nul , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Annulled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Annulling}.] [F. annuler, LL. annullare, annulare, fr. L. ad to + nullus none, nullum, neut., nothing. See {Null}, a.] 1. To reduce to nothing; to obliterate. [1913 Webster] Light, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • annul — (v.) late 14c., from O.Fr. anuller (13c.) or directly from L.L. annullare to make to nothing, from L. ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + nullum, neuter of nullus nothing (see NULL (Cf. null)). Related: Annulled; annulling …   Etymology dictionary

  • ANNUL US — (уменын. от лат. anus), колечко, обозначение кольцевидных образований. Напр., A. femoralis ext. и int. наружное и внутреннее отверстие так наз. бедренного канала, по к рым выходят бедренные грыжи из брюшной полости на бедро. А. femor. ext..… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • annul — is spelt with one l, and has inflected forms annulled, annulling. The corresponding noun is annulment …   Modern English usage

  • annul — [v] void an agreement abate, abolish, abrogate, annihilate, blot out, call off, cancel, countermand, declare, delete, discharge, dissolve, efface, erase, expunge, get off the hook*, invalidate, kill, negate, neutralize, nix, nullify, obliterate,… …   New thesaurus

  • annul — ► VERB (annulled, annulling) ▪ declare (a law, marriage, or other legal contract) invalid. DERIVATIVES annulment noun. ORIGIN Latin annullare, from nullum nothing …   English terms dictionary

  • annul — [ə nul′] vt. annulled, annulling [ME annullen < OFr anuller < LL(Ec) annullare, to bring to nothing < L ad , to + nullum, nothing, neut. of nullus: see NULL] 1. to do away with; put an end to 2. to make no longer binding under the law;… …   English World dictionary

  • annul — UK [əˈnʌl] / US verb [transitive] Word forms annul : present tense I/you/we/they annul he/she/it annuls present participle annulling past tense annulled past participle annulled to state officially that something such as a marriage, an agreement …   English dictionary

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