in U.S. political sense of "action of a state in refusing to allow a federal law to be enforced within its limits," 1798, in Thomas Jefferson; from Late Latin nullificationem (nominative nullificatio) "a making as nothing," noun of action from past-participle stem of nullificare (see nullify). Related: Nullificationist.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "not."
It forms all or part of: a- (3) "not, without;" abnegate; ahimsa; an- (1) privative prefix; annihilate; annul; aught (n.2) "zero, nothing;" deny; hobnob; in- (1) "not, opposite of, without;" ixnay; naught; naughty; nay; nefarious; negate; neglect; negligee; negotiate; neither; nepenthe; nescience; nescient; neuter; never; nice; nihilism; nihility; nil; nill; nimiety; nix; no; non-; none; nonplus; nor; not; nothing; null; nullify; nulliparous; renegade; renege; un- (1) prefix of negation; willy-nilly.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit a-, an- "not;" Avestan na "not;" Greek a-, an-, ne- "not;" Latin in- "not," ne "that not;" Old Church Slavonic and Lithuanian ne "not;" Old Irish an-, ni, Cornish ny "not;" Gothic and Old English un- "not."
*dhē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to set, put."
It forms all or part of: abdomen; abscond; affair; affect (v.1) "make a mental impression on;" affect (v.2) "make a pretense of;" affection; amplify; anathema; antithesis; apothecary; artifact; artifice; beatific; benefice; beneficence; beneficial; benefit; bibliothec; bodega; boutique; certify; chafe; chauffeur; comfit; condiment; confection; confetti; counterfeit; deed; deem; deface; defeasance; defeat; defect; deficient; difficulty; dignify; discomfit; do (v.); doom; -dom; duma; edifice; edify; efface; effect; efficacious; efficient; epithet; facade; face; facet; facial; -facient; facile; facilitate; facsimile; fact; faction (n.1) "political party;" -faction; factitious; factitive; factor; factory; factotum; faculty; fashion; feasible; feat; feature; feckless; fetish; -fic; fordo; forfeit; -fy; gratify; hacienda; hypothecate; hypothesis; incondite; indeed; infect; justify; malefactor; malfeasance; manufacture; metathesis; misfeasance; modify; mollify; multifarious; notify; nullify; office; officinal; omnifarious; orifice; parenthesis; perfect; petrify; pluperfect; pontifex; prefect; prima facie; proficient; profit; prosthesis; prothesis; purdah; putrefy; qualify; rarefy; recondite; rectify; refectory; sacrifice; salmagundi; samadhi; satisfy; sconce; suffice; sufficient; surface; surfeit; synthesis; tay; ticking (n.); theco-; thematic; theme; thesis; verify.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Latin facere "to make, do; perform; bring about;" Lithuanian dėti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old English don "to do."
late 14c., "invalidate, make void, nullify;" from Anglo-French and Old French anuler "cancel, wipe out" (13c.) or directly from Late Latin annullare "to make to nothing," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + nullum, neuter of nullus "nothing, none" (from PIE root *ne- "not"). Related: Annulled; annulling.
late 14c., "cross out with lines, draw lines across (something written) so as to deface," from Anglo-French and Old French canceler, from Latin cancellare "to make like a lattice," which in Late Latin took on especially a sense "cross out something written" by marking it with crossed lines, from cancelli, plural of *cancellus (n.) "lattice, grating," diminutive of cancer "crossed bars, a lattice," a variant of carcer "prison" (see incarceration).
The figurative use, "to nullify (an obligation, etc.)" is from mid-15c. Related: Canceled (also cancelled); cancelling.
1520s (trans.), from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare "to empty, make void, nullify," used by Pliny in reference to the bowels, used figuratively in Late Latin for "clear out;" from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + vacuus "empty," from PIE *wak-, extended form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out."
Earliest sense in English is medical. Military use is by 1710. Meaning "remove inhabitants to safer ground" is from 1934. Intransitive sense is from 1630s; of civilian persons by 1900. Replaced Middle English evacuen "draw off or expel (humors) from the body" (c. 1400). Related: Evacuated; evacuating.
early 15c., explanen, "make (something) clear in the mind, to make intelligible," from Latin explanare "to explain, make clear, make plain," etymologically "make level, flatten out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").
The spelling was altered by influence of plain. Also see plane (v.2). In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that "explain into leaves" ["Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions," 1664]. Related: Explained; explaining; explains. To explain (something) away "to deprive of significance by explanation, nullify or get rid of the apparent import of," generally with an adverse implication, is from 1709.
c. 1200, "to strike, hit, beat, knock;" c. 1300, "to deprive of life, put to death;" perhaps from an unrecorded variant of Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (source also of Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense "to pierce." Related: Killed; killing.
The meaning "to nullify or neutralize the qualities of" is attested from 1610s. Of time, from 1728; of engines, from 1886; of lights, from 1934. Kill-devil, colloquial for "rum," especially if new or of bad quality, is from 1630s. Dressed to kill is first attested 1818 in a letter of Keats (compare killing (adj.) in the sense "overpowering, fascinating, attractive").
the modern English word is a merger of two words, both in Middle English as quashen, from two unrelated Latin verbs.
1. "to suppress, overcome" (mid-13c.); "to make void, annul, nullify, veto" (mid-14c.), from Old French quasser, quassier, casser "to annul, declare void," and directly from Medieval Latin quassare, alteration of Late Latin cassare, from cassus "null, void, empty" (from extended form of PIE root *kes- "to cut"). The meaning "subdue, put down summarily" is from c. 1600.
2. "to break, crush, beat to pieces" early 14c., from Old French quasser, casser "to break, smash, destroy; maltreat, injure, harm, weaken," from Latin quassare "to shatter, shake or toss violently," frequentative of quatere (past participle quassus) "to shake," from PIE root *kwet- "to shake" (source also of Greek passein "to sprinkle," Lithuanian kutėti "to shake up," Old Saxon skuddian "to move violently," German schütteln "to shake," Old English scudan "to hasten").
In Medieval Latin, quassare often was used for cassare, and in later French the form of both words is casser. The words in English now are somewhat, or entirely, fused. Related: Quashed; quashing.