domestic violence


Definition of domestic violence

: the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another also : a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior

Examples of domestic violence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Baltimore Police have suspended a detective who has been the subject of costly lawsuits after a Harford County judge issued an order barring him from carrying a gun when his children's mother leveled allegations of domestic violence and child abuse. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case," 13 July 2018 Late Wednesday, the government issued stricter guidance to asylum officers to reject claims based on fears of gang and domestic violence. Lomi Kriel, San Antonio Express-News, "Half of migrants under 5 reunited with parents, though rest remain ‘ineligible’," 12 July 2018 He was arrested for domestic violence and disorderly conduct June 29. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "St. Francis man arrested after allegedly grabbing knife to confront man his wife was talking to on phone," 11 July 2018 Politicians like Steve Scalise claim that people would be unable to protect themselves from domestic violence and considered a criminal if someone loaned them their gun. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "How to Get the H.R. 8 Universal Background Checks Bill Passed in the Senate," 28 Feb. 2019 But all that changed just days after the show ended, when he was arrested and charged with domestic violence after getting into a fight with his wife. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "‘America’s Got Talent’ Finalist Michael Ketterer Won’t Perform With Garth Brooks After Domestic Violence Arrest," 25 Sep. 2018 The asylum rules solidify U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' earlier directive instructing immigration judges to all but stop considering claims of domestic violence and gang violence as reasons for granting asylum. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Trump administration issues new asylum rules aimed at families arriving at border," 13 July 2018 The guidance impacts people fleeing domestic violence or gang violence as well as asylum seekers who cross the border illegally. Kate Morrissey,, "New guidance for asylum officers could send thousands back from the border," 12 July 2018 The move comes just a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an order forcing immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most survivors of gang and domestic violence., "U.S. Will Automatically Reject Asylum Requests From Domestic Violence Survivors," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of domestic violence

1891, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about domestic violence

Statistics for domestic violence

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for domestic violence

The first known use of domestic violence was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for domestic violence

domestic violence

domestic vi·​o·​lence

Legal Definition of domestic violence

: violence committed by one family or household member against another — see also restraining order at order

More from Merriam-Webster on domestic violence Encyclopedia article about domestic violence

Comments on domestic violence

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


an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!