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 Resolving one final hurdle that delayed the accord, the bill would prohibit romantic partners convicted of domestic violence and not married to their victims from getting firearms. Alan Fram, Chron, 22 June 2022 In the realm of domestic violence, for example, one effect of the feminist critique of privacy has been the rise of police and prosecutorial policies that were developed to counter an older regime of abuse-shielding marital privacy. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 In the ruling, the judge acknowledged how the law pointed to a new understanding of the impact of domestic violence. Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2022 Heard, who divorced Depp in 2016 after obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, has been dragged through two trials across two continents to substantiate allegations that Depp abused her. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 June 2022 Heard filed for divorce from Depp the following year, obtaining a domestic violence restraining order against the actor and accusing him of physically and verbally abusing her while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Jessica Wang,, 6 May 2022 Johnny Depp recounted how Amber Heard wanted to meet with him in San Francisco months after filing a domestic violence restraining order against him and filing for divorce. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 25 Apr. 2022 Deener was initially charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault in the hours after an alleged altercation outside a Rooster's restaurant near Jeffersontown. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, 12 Apr. 2022 But Kidwell had left Gentry, was staying with relatives on Winchester Road and had secured a domestic violence order against him. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of domestic violence

1891, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near domestic violence

domestic system

domestic violence


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for domestic violence

Last Updated

27 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Domestic violence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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