non·​vi·​o·​lence ˌnän-ˈvī-ə-lən(t)s How to pronounce nonviolence (audio)
: abstention from violence as a matter of principle
also : the principle of such abstention
: the quality or state of being nonviolent : avoidance of violence
: nonviolent demonstrations for the purpose of securing political ends

Example Sentences

Demonstration organizers are urging nonviolence.
Recent Examples on the Web To frame politics in the context of motherhood is a commitment to nonviolence, as well as a statement of dedication. Emily Witt, Glamour, 25 Oct. 2022 Advertisement After playing a few songs in Belfast, Bono called onto the stage the leaders of unionism and nationalism: David Trimble, a leading Protestant politician in Northern Ireland, and John Hume, an advocate of nonviolence who led Northern Ireland’s largest Catholic political party. Amanda Ferguson, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2023 One of Dallas' last living links to Martin Luther King carries on the torch of nonviolence and justice Details Jan. 4-8 at the Margo Jones Theatre. Dallas News, 15 Dec. 2022 An organizer said the car show was one of several events held on Saturday to promote nonviolence in Dumas, Arkansas. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2022 Sure as fluffy white people like Mia Farrow and Judd Apatow might holier-than-thou the Slap, spinning it into some revisionist-history lesson on nonviolence, these two hall monitors have the easier option of minding their non-Black business. Vulture, 28 Mar. 2022 On the Sister’s website, Monica Beemer, a former director, offered a tribute: Genny always led with a gentle, yet formidable presence, centering Sisters’ work on the core principles of gentle personalism, nonviolence, and the practice of dining with dignity. oregonlive, 26 Aug. 2020 Some leftist activists who long favored nonviolence have grown more tolerant of armed support at public events as threats against the LGBTQ community and other vulnerable groups rise and faith in law enforcement recedes. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2023 After his release, Rev. Lawson became a missionary in India and immersed himself in Gandhi’s teachings of using nonviolence to achieve social and political change. Dawn Porter, Variety, 27 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nonviolence.' 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

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonviolence was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near nonviolence

Cite this Entry

“Nonviolence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


non·​vi·​o·​lence (ˈ)nän-ˈvī-ə-lən(t)s How to pronounce nonviolence (audio)
: the avoidance of the use of violence as a matter of principle
also : the principle of not using violence to achieve one's goals
: nonviolent demonstrations for the purpose of achieving political goals
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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