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 As a strategy of resistance and protest, nonviolence is often seen as passive and resolutely individual. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From Paul Krugman to the Romantic Age," 28 Jan. 2020 The activists studied notable protest movements in modern history and determined that nonviolence, promoted by the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., has by far been the most effective strategy. Aimee Groth, Quartz at Work, "Extinction Rebellion is using holacracy to scale its international movement," 29 Dec. 2019 The bar was putting on a hip-hop event called Living the Dream, pegged to Dream Week, memorializing the civil rights leader who preached nonviolence. Jacob Beltran,, "Shooting left grieving families and shocked a downtown San Antonio neighborhood," 20 Jan. 2020 The breakfast honors citizens who have worked to bring positive change to the community while supporting the values of nonviolence, love, commitment, courage, social justice, leadership and racial equality. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "MLK Day is Jan. 20. Here's where you can celebrate the civil-rights leader around Phoenix," 12 Jan. 2020 Edison refuses because of his nonviolence principles but recognizes the potential to pin the invention on Westinghouse. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "The real story behind 'The Current War,' about Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse," 21 Oct. 2019 Trained in Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolence tactics, which Rustin had studied in India, and wearing replicas of Gandhi’s signature cap, the marshals were stationed along the Mall to protect attendees. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Where Does the Word ‘Teetotaler’ Come From? and More Questions From Our Readers," 20 Sep. 2019 Many African American activists had broken with King, advocating Black Power rather than racial reconciliation, abandoning nonviolence, and denouncing King as an accommodationist. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 The protests, which began November 21 in central Bogota, have been mostly nonviolence and peaceful, but the government of President Ivan Duque Marquez has taken an aggressive stance against the movement. Fox News, "Massive Colombia anti-government protests continue amid heightened violent crackdown," 26 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of nonviolence was in 1831

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Statistics for nonviolence

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonviolence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce nonviolence (audio)

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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Spanish Central: Translation of nonviolence

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

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