domestic violence


Definition of domestic violence

: violent or abusive behavior directed by one family or household member against another He helped start Austin's Children's Advocacy Center, which works with abused kids, and a family-justice division of the D.A.'s office, which prosecutes those accused of domestic violence and helps their families get back to normal.— John Cloud a domestic violence hotline In another disturbing trend, women are victims of domestic violence that spills into the workplace.— Sarah Henry

Examples of domestic violence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The women and children seeking protection from their abusers started getting cold on Sunday when the power went out at one of Dallas’ biggest domestic violence shelters. Dallas News, "Having found refuge from abuse, domestic violence victims now forced to relocate," 18 Feb. 2021 According to the order, other programs like child-care facilities, domestic violence shelters and costs for personal protective equipment are also eligible for reimbursement. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco reports $125 million budget surplus this fiscal year - but deficits still loom," 12 Feb. 2021 According to the order, other programs like child-care facilities, domestic violence shelters and costs for personal protective equipment will also be eligible for 100% reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Trisha Thadani,, "S.F.’s homeless hotels may be fully paid for under Biden. But questions remain," 22 Jan. 2021 Le said Society Nine helped out in various ways, including working with domestic violence shelters to provide protective masks for staff and residents. Portland Business Journal, oregonlive, "Invisible scars: 7 business owners, execs talk about pain of COVID-19, hopes for 2021," 24 Dec. 2020 Of that $150 million, $21 million would be invested in emergency medical services, domestic violence shelters and programs for the homeless. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Texas police group warns drivers to ‘enter at your own risk' after Austin cuts police funding," 10 Sep. 2020 In Denmark, for instance, calls to emergency domestic violence shelters more than doubled in mid-March, and remained high through the end of spring. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Domestic violence shelters are filling up and cities are looking to hotels for help," 2 Sep. 2020 The Criminal Justice Institute has spent $43,415 of $9.3 million it has been awarded for emergency relief and domestic violence shelters. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana begins to detail how billions in coronavirus relief has been spent," 4 Aug. 2020 Rihanna and Dorsey have regularly teamed up for charitable purposes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including partnering up for a joint donation of $4.2 million that went towards Los Angeles based domestic violence shelters. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna and Jack Dorsey Teamed Up to Donate 4,000 iPads to Students in Barbados," 10 July 2020

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

Time Traveler for domestic violence

Time Traveler

The first known use of domestic violence was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Statistics for domestic violence

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Domestic violence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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