ratify, confirm are comparable when they mean to make something legally valid or operative. Both terms presuppose previous action by a person or body with power of appointing, of legislating, or of framing such a document as a constitution, a treaty, or a contract, and imply reference therefore only to the act of the person or body endowed with the power to accept or to veto the appointment, bill, or document.
The terms are occasionally interchanged without loss, but ratify usually carries a stronger implication of approval than confirm and is therefore used by preference when the acceptance of something (as a constitution, a treaty, or a course of action) that has been framed or proposed by a committee or a small body is put up to a larger body (as a society, legislature, or nation) for a vote that testifies to its approval

the men who had written and signed the Constitution became thè leaders of the fight to ratify it— Smelser & Kirwin

Confirm, on the other hand, stresses the giving of formal or decisive assent as necessary to a thing's validity; it applies specifically to appointments made by an executive (as a president or governor) that according to the constitution of a nation or state require the consent of a body (as a senate, a legislature, or a council) before they are definitely settled and made legally valid

the other executive function of the Senate, that of confirming nominations submitted by the president— Bryce


the Senate's powers to ratify treaties and confirm appointments of ambassadors— Dimond &Pflieger

Analogous words: *authorize, accredit, license, commission: sanction, *approve, endorse: validate, authenticate (see CONFIRM)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ratify — rat·i·fy / ra tə ˌfī/ vt fied, fy·ing: to make valid or effective; esp: to adopt or affirm (as the prior act or contract of an agent) by express or implied consent with the effect of original authorization unable to rescind the contract because… …   Law dictionary

  • Ratify — Rat i*fy (r[a^]t [i^]*f[imac]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ratified} (r[a^]t [i^]*f[imac]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Ratifying} (r[a^]t [i^]*f[imac] [i^]ng).] [F. ratifier, fr. L. ratus fixed by calculation, firm, valid + ficare (in comp.) to make. See {Rate} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ratify — rat‧i‧fy [ˈrætfaɪ] verb ratified PTandPP ratifying PRESPART [transitive] to make a written agreement official by signing it: • The government delayed ratifying the treaty. * * * ratify UK US /ˈrætɪfaɪ/ verb [T] ► LAW …   Financial and business terms

  • ratify — mid 14c., from O.Fr. ratifier (late 13c.), from M.L. ratificare confirm, approve, lit. fix by reckoning, from L. ratus fixed, valid (pp. of reri to reckon, think ) + root of facere to make (see FACTITIOUS (Cf. factitious)). Related: Ratified;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ratify — [v] affirm, authorize accredit, approve, authenticate, bear out, bind, bless, certify, commission, confirm, consent, corroborate, endorse, establish, give stamp of approval*, go for*, license, okay*, rubber stamp*, sanction, sign, substantiate,… …   New thesaurus

  • ratify — ► VERB (ratifies, ratified) ▪ give formal consent to; make officially valid. DERIVATIVES ratification noun ratifier noun. ORIGIN Latin ratificare, from ratus fixed …   English terms dictionary

  • ratify — [rat′ə fī΄] vt. ratified, ratifying [ME ratifien < MFr ratifier < ML ratificare < L ratus (see RATE1) + facere, to make, DO1] to approve or confirm; esp., to give official sanction to SYN. APPROVE ratification [rat΄əfi kā′shən] n.… …   English World dictionary

  • ratify — 01. The town council is set to [ratify] a decision to outlaw smoking in all public buildings. 02. The peace agreement has been [ratified] by both sides in the conflict. 03. The federal government is expected to [ratify] the agreement on climate… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • ratify — verb Ratify is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑country, ↑parliament Ratify is used with these nouns as the object: ↑amendment, ↑constitution, ↑convention, ↑treaty …   Collocations dictionary

  • ratify — rat|i|fy [ˈrætıfaı] v past tense and past participle ratified present participle ratifying third person singular ratifies [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: ratifier, from Medieval Latin ratificare, from Latin ratus; RATE1] to make a written …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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