con·​tra·​vene | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈvēn How to pronounce contravene (audio) \
contravened; contravening

Definition of contravene

transitive verb

1 : to go or act contrary to : violate contravene a law
2 : to oppose in argument : contradict contravene a proposition

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Other Words from contravene

contravener noun

Choose the Right Synonym for contravene

deny, gainsay, contradict, contravene mean to refuse to accept as true or valid. deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede, or to acknowledge the existence or claims of. denied the charges gainsay implies disputing the truth of what another has said. no one can gainsay her claims contradict implies an open or flat denial. her account contradicts his contravene implies not so much an intentional opposition as some inherent incompatibility. laws that contravene tradition

Did You Know?

Contravene is most often used in reference to laws. So a government may take a company to court claiming that its policies are in contravention of national labor laws. The contravention of copyright laws is a big topic today especially where electronic information is involved. And a country might be punished if a trade organization finds that it's contravening international trade agreements.

Examples of contravene in a Sentence

The overcrowded dance club contravened safety regulations. the unauthorized reproduction of the image contravenes copyright laws
Recent Examples on the Web Currently, the AfCFTA agreement does well to note that exceptions to tariff reliefs will be applied to activities that contravene anti-dumping laws. Ebele Mogo, Quartz Africa, "The AfCFTA agreement should be radical in prioritizing Africa’s health," 25 Feb. 2021 The tax proposal would breach European Union laws on freedom of establishment and free movement of capital, and would contravene the U.K.-Netherlands tax treaty, Unilever has said. Thomas Buckley,, "Unilever Headquarters Combination Cleared by U.K. Shareholders," 12 Oct. 2020 The Taliban have revealed little about their end goal, beyond a withdrawal of foreign forces and that Afghanistan must be ruled by Islamic law, despite the fact that Afghanistan’s constitution already dictates that no law can contravene Islam. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Violence Plagues Afghanistan as Peace Talks With Taliban Struggle to Take Off," 23 Sep. 2020 The proposal would breach European Union laws on freedom of establishment and free movement of capital, and would contravene the U.K.-Netherlands tax treaty, Jope said at the meeting. Thomas Buckley,, "Unilever Dutch Investors Approve Single London Headquarters," 21 Sep. 2020 These legally erroneous public-nuisance lawsuits contravene traditional legal principles, rule of law, and separation of powers. John Shu, National Review, "Conservative AG Patrick Morrisey Can’t Use ‘Public Nuisance’ Laws to Go After Drug Stores," 3 Sep. 2020 The ministry said the government will step up enforcement measures against people who contravene their stay-at-home notices. Faris Mokhtar,, "Singapore to Shut Bars, Cinemas in New Anti-Virus Measures," 7 May 2020 Guardian Facebook ban Facebook has banned events that contravene social distancing orders put in place by state governments. David Meyer, Fortune, "Why the big banks will likely survive the coronavirus recession," 21 Apr. 2020 But the truth is that governments, both federal and local, are already flirting with emergency powers to fight the spread of coronavirus that contravene the rights residents normally take for granted. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The US government has a long history of using crises to justify indefinite mass detention," 1 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contravene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contravene

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contravene

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French contrevenir, from Late Latin contravenire, from Latin contra- + venire to come — more at come

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Time Traveler for contravene

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The first known use of contravene was in 1567

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Cite this Entry

“Contravene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for contravene



English Language Learners Definition of contravene

formal : to fail to do what is required by (a law or rule)

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