Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 24, 2021 is:

quash • KWAHSH  • verb

: to nullify especially by judicial action


“His appeal [of a zoning decision allowing the school to be built], which attorneys for the district and developer said threatened the entire project, was quashed by a judge in February for being late.” —  Jack Tomczuk, Northeast Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 11 Mar. 2020

“In Chesterfield County, a tenant had to request an emergency hearing when the landlord refused to call off a scheduled eviction after receiving a signed declaration. A judge quashed the eviction….. ” — Mark Robinson, The Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch, 27 Sept. 2020

Did you know?

There are two quash verbs in the English language, and although their meanings are similar, they have entirely different origins. Both essentially mean to get rid of something—you can quash a rumor, for example, or you can quash a judicial order. The legal term quash (meaning “to nullify”) comes from the Anglo-French words casser or quasser, meaning “to annul,” and is ultimately from Latin cassus, “to void.” The other quash means “to suppress or extinguish summarily and completely.” It derives from the Middle English word quashen, meaning “to smash,” and is ultimately from a form of the Latin verb quatere, meaning “to shake.”

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