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 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 And the travel restrictions contravene advice from the World Health Organization, which recommends against limiting trade and movement. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Past Outbreaks Provide a Roadmap for U.S. Government Response to Coronavirus Threat," 4 Feb. 2020 The United States and Britain have even attempted to strip some Islamic State group members of their citizenship, a move that contravenes a 1961 United Nations convention on statelessness. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "American ISIS fighter stranded in no-man's to be repatriated to U.S., Turkey says," 14 Nov. 2019 So Trump didn’t have to exercise his pardon power on the man’s behalf, as promised, but stepped in to ensure that he couldn’t be punished at all, contravening the Navy’s rules. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Justice under Trump looks increasingly like his reality TV show," 12 Feb. 2020 By collating swaths of data on entire neighborhoods, the court said, SyRI contravened the right to a private life guaranteed under European Human Rights Law. Tom Simonite, Wired, "Europe Limits Government by Algorithm. The US, Not So Much," 7 Feb. 2020 China says such decisions contravene the World Health Organization’s recommendations against travel bans. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "China’s Holocaust comparison for Israel’s coronavirus border closure isn’t just offensive, it’s inaccurate," 2 Feb. 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of contravene was in 1567

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Statistics for contravene

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contravene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for contravene


How to pronounce contravene (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contravene

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

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