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 Anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic violence can obtain help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. City News Service, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024 Milwaukee police said the incident is believed to be related to domestic violence and a physical altercation in which all four victims exchanged gunfire with unknown individuals. Jessica Rodriguez, Journal Sentinel, 25 Feb. 2024 According to court documents, at about 7:50 p.m. on Jan. 12, police received a 911 call about a domestic violence incident where the caller's cousin's boyfriend was kicking a door. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 Julio Urías was primed for the role last year, only to underperform through the summer before missing the stretch run following an arrest for suspicion of domestic violence in September. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Even as adults, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can impact the brain’s ability to function, while emotional trauma, such as domestic violence, rape, loss of a child, spouse or job can also flood the brain with caustic stress hormones that take a toll over time. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 Kenyans have also gotten used to tragic tales involving their top athletes after a number have died in road crashes, other accidents and domestic violence cases. TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 Arenas filed a domestic violence restraining order the next day, but it was canceled almost a month later. Jeff A. Chamer, Charlotte Observer, 13 Feb. 2024 After her death, a petition was created to rewrite California domestic violence laws, including a statute preventing restraining orders from expiring. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'domestic violence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of domestic violence was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near domestic violence

Cite this Entry

“Domestic violence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

domestic violence

: the inflicting of physical harm by one family or household member on another

Legal Definition

domestic violence

domestic vi·​o·​lence
: violence committed by one family or household member against another see also restraining order at order

More from Merriam-Webster on domestic violence

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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