AskDefine | Define homologate

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /həˈmɑləgeɪt/
  • /h@"mAl@geIt/


  1. To confirm, ratify or approve, especially officially or legally.

Extensive Definition

Homologation is a technical term, derived from the Greek homologeo (ὁμολογέω) for "to agree", which is generally used in English to signify the granting of approval by an official authority. This may be a court of law, a government department, or an academic or professional body, any of which would normally work from a set of strict rules or standards to determine whether such approval should be given. The word may be considered very roughly synonymous with accreditation, and in fact in French may be used with regard to academic degrees (see apostille). Certified is another possible synonym, while to homologate is the infinitive verb form.
In today's marketplace, for instance, products must often be homologated by some public agency to assure that they meet standards for such things as safety and environmental impact. A court action may also sometimes be homologated by a judicial authority before it can proceed, and the term has a precise legal meaning in the judicial codes of some countries.
The word is used within the European Union in those papers that are direct translations from French to refer to the processes of making trade standards and laws consistent throughout the whole of the union. British journalists usually prefer to use the word harmonisation for this purpose.
Another usage pertains to the biological sciences, where it may describe the similarities used to assign organisms to the same family or taxon, similarities they have jointly inherited from a common ancestor. Similarly, Homologation is widely used in technical areas, such as communications, when products and/or processes have to be certified against the corresponding telecom standard, internal normative, etc.


Perhaps the closest this word comes to everyday usage is in reference to racing vehicles. Many motorsports fans know that a vehicle must be homologated by the sanctioning body in order to race in a given league, such as NASCAR or sportscar racing. The names of the Ferrari 250 GTO and its namesakes, the Pontiac GTO and Mitsubishi GTO, preserve this sense of the word, as the initials stand for "Gran Turismo Omologato," the Italian for "Grand Touring, Homologated."
Many sportscars are released to the general public for racing homologation purposes. Most motorsport events using street-based cars require that the manufacturer release a minimum number of public street models. This is usually to ensure that a manufacturer doesn't design a vehicle purely for racing, in an event designed to portray street vehicles. Examples of this are the BMW M3 GTR, Ferrari 288 GTO, and the Nissan Skyline GT-R 'N1 models'.
The same is true of most motorcycle racing series, including such premier classes as AMA Superbike Championship and the FIM Superbike World Championship.
The term is also applicable in the Olympic Games in venue certifications prior to the Olympics. A recent issue was raised at Cesana Pariol, the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track used for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, over its safety in luge. This delayed homologation of the track from January 2005 to October 2005 in order for the track to achieve safe runs during luge competitions.

External links

Homologation Laboratories
homologate in German: Homologation
homologate in Spanish: Homologación
homologate in Esperanto: Homologo
homologate in French: Homologation
homologate in Dutch: Homologatie
homologate in Japanese: ホモロゲーション
homologate in Norwegian: Homologasjon
homologate in Serbian: Homologacija
homologate in Swedish: Homologation
homologate in Turkish: Homologasyon
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