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How to pronounce annulment (audio)


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Dictionary definition of annulment

The legal act of declaring a marriage or other contractual agreement null and void, as if it never existed in the eyes of the law.
"She sought an annulment after discovering her spouse had concealed a previous marriage."

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Detailed meaning of annulment

It is a formal process through which a court or competent authority legally declares a marriage or a specific contract to be invalid or voidable due to certain grounds or circumstances. An annulment differs from a divorce in that a divorce dissolves a valid marriage, whereas an annulment treats the marriage as if it never occurred. Annulments can be granted for various reasons, such as fraud, bigamy, incapacity, or lack of consent. When an annulment is granted, the legal effect is retroactive, meaning the marriage is considered null from the beginning, and both parties are restored to their pre-marriage legal status. The purpose of an annulment is to invalidate a marriage or contract that should not have been recognized legally or ethically, offering a means to legally undo a union that was invalid or entered into under false pretenses.

Example sentences containing annulment

1. Their annulment proceedings were initiated due to irreconcilable differences and fraud allegations.
2. In some cases, an ecclesiastical annulment from the church is sought in addition to a civil annulment.
3. The lengthy legal battle for the annulment of their marriage drained their resources.
4. She found solace in the fact that the annulment allowed her to move on with her life.
5. An annulment legally erases the marriage, as if it never existed, unlike a divorce.
6. Their annulment marked the end of a tumultuous and ill-fated union.

History and etymology of annulment

The noun 'annulment' has its etymological origins in the Latin word 'annullare,' which is formed from 'ad-' (meaning 'to') and 'nullus' (meaning 'no' or 'none'). In Latin, 'annullare' meant 'to make nothing' or 'to cancel.' This concept was carried into Old French as 'annuler,' and later into Middle English as 'annul,' before giving rise to 'annulment.' Therefore, 'annulment' fundamentally conveys the idea of the legal act of declaring a marriage or other contractual agreement null and void, effectively erasing it from legal existence, as if it never existed in the eyes of the law. Its etymology emphasizes the annihilation or cancellation of a legal contract, rendering it void and without legal effect.

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Further usage examples of annulment

1. An annulment can be a complex process, involving legal documentation and court appearances.
2. The annulment was granted on the grounds of deception and non-disclosure.
3. The couple decided to pursue an annulment after realizing they had rushed into marriage.
4. The annulment petition cited the lack of consent as a critical factor.
5. Her heartache lingered even after the annulment, as she mourned the lost dreams.
6. The annulment process requires both parties to provide evidence of their claims.
7. After the annulment, they had to divide their assets and go their separate ways.
8. The annulment was a bittersweet end to their once-hopeful marriage.
9. An annulment can provide a sense of closure and a chance to start anew.
10. The annulment proceedings shed light on the complexities of their relationship.
11. He regretted not seeking an annulment sooner to avoid a prolonged legal battle.
12. The annulment of their business partnership had significant financial implications.
13. An annulment can be emotionally challenging, as it forces a reevaluation of one's past.
14. The annulment process aimed to rectify the legal status of their marriage.
15. The couple decided to pursue an annulment rather than a divorce due to the circumstances surrounding their marriage.
16. The court granted the annulment, declaring the marriage null and void.
17. The couple's annulment was finalized, allowing them to move on with their lives as if they had never been married.
18. An annulment was necessary because one of the parties was found to be underage at the time of marriage.
19. The annulment proceedings revealed that the marriage had been entered into under duress.
20. The couple had a religious annulment to dissolve their marriage within the confines of their faith.
21. The court denied the annulment request, citing insufficient evidence to prove the grounds for nullifying the marriage.
22. He regretted his impulsive decision and wished he could obtain an annulment to erase the marriage from his record.
23. The annulment process was complex and required the couple to provide extensive documentation and proof of their claims.
24. The couple's annulment was met with mixed reactions from their families and friends.
25. The lawyer specialized in family law and had extensive experience handling annulment cases.



invalidation, ratification, confirmation, validation


Suffix -ment, SAT 3 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 12, Legal Terms and Procedures

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