non·​vi·​o·​lent | \ ˌnän-ˈvī-ə-lənt How to pronounce nonviolent (audio) \

Definition of nonviolent

: abstaining or free from violence

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Other Words from nonviolent

nonviolently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for nonviolent


peaceable, peaceful


forced, violent

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Examples of nonviolent in a Sentence

He argued that nonviolent drug offenders should receive shorter sentences.

Recent Examples on the Web

Pashinian immediately called for mass acts of nonviolent, civil disobedience across the city. Sabra Ayres,, "Armenia contemplates the unlikely: a nonviolent revolution on the cusp of victory," 8 May 2018 This affects a wide group of people, down to Floridians convicted of certain traffic crimes and nonviolent offenses. German Lopez, Vox, "One in 10 potential Florida voters can’t legally vote. Amendment 4 could change that.," 6 Nov. 2018 In the United States, people can end up with sentences double or triple that that for nonviolent offenses. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Inside a Radical Experiment to Transform the Lives of Incarcerated Women," 22 Aug. 2018 More than 60 percent of child offenders are being held for nonviolent offenses like drugs, theft or even violations that only apply to minors, like curfew violations, underage drinking and truancy. Shaila Dewan, New York Times, "Family Separation: It’s a Problem for U.S. Citizens, Too," 22 June 2018 President Obama granted clemency to over 1,700 prisoners, many of whom are minorities, and many of whom were serving draconian mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. Jay Willis, GQ, "What Donald Trump’s Pardons Are Really About," 8 June 2018 President Donald Trump, appearing to heed the advice of the reality-TV star after their chat at the White House last week, has commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson, a black woman serving life for a nonviolent drug offense, Axios reports. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Celebrity-Obsessed Trump Listens to Kim Kardashian, Commutes Alice Johnson’s Life Sentence," 6 June 2018 President Trump commuted the life sentence of a grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, CBS News' Paula Reid reports, citing a White House official. CBS News, "Trump commutes Alice Marie Johnson's sentence," 6 June 2018 Kim Kardashian West went to the White House on Wednesday to ask President Trump to show mercy to a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Trump Isn’t Pardoning Allies Caught in the Mueller Probe – Yet," 1 June 2018

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

1905, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for nonviolent

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for nonviolent

The first known use of nonviolent was in 1905

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More Definitions for nonviolent



English Language Learners Definition of nonviolent

: not using or involving violence

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Spanish Central: Translation of nonviolent

Comments on nonviolent

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having no equal

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