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

Confucius Institutes are funded by the Chinese government and may not engage in activities that contravene Chinese law. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Roll Back China’s Soft-Power Campaign," 4 Dec. 2018 The presence of Pooh’s likeness would contravene Olympic rules of sponsorship and branding. JerÉ Longman, New York Times, "The Greatest Figure Skater Ever Is Michael Jackson on Ice, Surrounded by Winnie the Poohs," 4 Jan. 2018 The decision was the latest in a series of high-profile declarations by Mr. Trump contravening actions and statements by agencies and even by his own appointees on issues ranging from foreign policy to election meddling, and drew... Michael R. Gordon And Ian Talley, WSJ, "Trump Blocks Large-Scale Sanctions Planned Against North Korea," 22 Mar. 2019 Never mind that targeting specific countries this way could contravene America’s commitments under the World Trade Organization. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "An ‘Old Testament Approach’ to Trade," 23 Jan. 2019 Moscow says the system is in full compliance with the agreement and has denied contravening the treaty. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "Bolton Says Trump Would Welcome Meeting with Putin Next Month in Paris," 23 Oct. 2018 Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, state measures that contravene validly adopted federal laws and policy determinations, including those contained in FCC orders, are preempted and have no force or effect. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law," 19 Oct. 2018 That doesn’t contravene the summit declaration, but raises questions about North Korea’s willingness to agree to the speedy nuclear-dismantlement measures Mr. Trump has demanded. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Pompeo to Visit North Korea Again, With a View Toward Denuclearization," 2 July 2018 The ruling contravenes a decision from Mr. Favreto’s own court, which ordered Mr. da Silva arrested in April. New York Times, "Judge Orders Brazil to Release Ex-President Lula, Setting Off Legal Uproar," 8 July 2018

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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Statistics for contravene

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contravene

The first known use of contravene was in 1567

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English Language Learners Definition of contravene

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

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Comments on contravene

What made you want to look up contravene? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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