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 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 That would contravene another Cockney ideal—the spirit of mongrelism. The Economist, "The Cockneys of Thetford," 18 Dec. 2019 As a matter of principle, many believe that a federal program, no matter its form, would contravene federalism and usurp the role of state and local governments. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Paid Family Leave Finds Proponents on the Right," 19 Dec. 2019 Some of these moves, activists say, contravene international agreements, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, more recently, the Global Compact on Migration. Patrick Dehahn, Quartz, "The share of the global migrant population forced to leave their homes is growing," 23 Sep. 2019 Eleven years ago the Supreme Court nixed a deal which gave an expansive form of autonomy to some Muslim parts of Mindanao on the ground that the arrangements in effect created a state within a state and thus contravened the constitution. The Economist, "Rodrigo Duterte is losing interest in creating a federal Philippines," 1 Aug. 2019 Peter Elms, national visa manager for Immigration NZ, said the move was made to prevent exceptions becoming the norm and contravening government policy. Jack Guy, CNN, "New Zealand's Indian community angered by 'punishment' visa changes," 4 Nov. 2019 Both steps contravened international law and decades of U.S. policy. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: Trump’s rash exit from Syria emboldens Russia and horrifies Israel," 15 Oct. 2019

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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contravene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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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