non·​vi·​o·​lence | \ ˌnän-ˈvī-ə-lən(t)s How to pronounce nonviolence (audio) \

Definition of nonviolence

1 : abstention from violence as a matter of principle also : the principle of such abstention
2a : the quality or state of being nonviolent : avoidance of violence
b : nonviolent demonstrations for the purpose of securing political ends

Examples of nonviolence in a Sentence

Demonstration organizers are urging nonviolence.

Recent Examples on the Web

In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. Washington Post, "‘The Great Society’ is set in the turbulent 1960s. ‘Black Panther’ envisions a futuristic present. Both offer lessons for today.," 18 Feb. 2018 The values are rooted in Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of principled nonviolence. New York Times, "Teaching Gandhi’s Nonviolent Principles in a Violent Time," 18 May 2018 His teachings on love, dignity, nonviolence, dissent and hope must be understood in this light. Time Staff, Time, "10 Historians on What People Still Don't Know About Martin Luther King Jr.," 4 Apr. 2018 Even when the press had turned against him, when black people turned against him and saw nonviolence as soft, and whites saw him as a communist. Salamishah Tillet, New York Times, "Seeing Martin Luther King Jr. in a New Light," 1 Apr. 2018 King, the prince of nonviolence, received steady streams of criticism from politicians, journalists and clergy for engaging in peaceful demonstrations that, by stoking the anger of white supremacists, threatened to turn violent at any moment. Peniel E. Joseph, Washington Post, "America’s nonviolent civil rights movement was considered uncivil by critics at the time," 4 July 2018 But the overwhelming majority recommitted themselves to nonviolence and, as his health rapidly deteriorated, Chavez determined the fast had been successful. USA TODAY, "A movement for 'America's promise'," 21 May 2018 He was put on probation, placed in a domestic nonviolence program and ordered to undergo a mental health screening. Washington Post, "Suspected killer had history of abuse, mental health issues," 6 June 2018 He was put on probation, placed in a domestic nonviolence program and ordered to undergo a mental health screening. Fox News, "Suspected killer had history of abuse, mental health issues," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonviolence.' 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 nonviolence

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nonviolence

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for nonviolence

The first known use of nonviolence was in 1831

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English Language Learners Definition of nonviolence

: the practice of refusing to respond to anything (such as unfair or violent acts by a government) with violence

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More from Merriam-Webster on nonviolence

Spanish Central: Translation of nonviolence

Nglish: Translation of nonviolence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nonviolence for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nonviolence

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