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

Definition of nonviolent

: abstaining or free from violence

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nonviolent

nonviolently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for nonviolent



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of nonviolent in a Sentence

He argued that nonviolent drug offenders should receive shorter sentences.
Recent Examples on the Web Sentencing guidelines for nonviolent offenses that took effect in 2013 were intended to make sentencing more uniform and help preserve more prison space for violent offenders. Mike Cason |, al, "Bills could lead to shorter sentences for some Alabama offenders," 25 Mar. 2021 Some 75% of juvenile arrests in Minnesota are for nonviolent offenses, often acts that are only unlawful because of one's age — truancy, curfew violations, running away, and underage possession of alcohol and tobacco. James Densley, Star Tribune, "Restoring humanity to juvenile justice is overdue," 14 Mar. 2021 Until now, the governor has approved early release for inmates who are serving time for nonviolent offenses and are approaching the end of their sentences. oregonlive, "Gov. Kate Brown considering early pandemic release for prisoners who fought wildfires; those eligible include violent offenders for first time," 11 Mar. 2021 Early in the pandemic, Durrett preauthorized the use of prisoner release on felony citations, rather than cash bond, for certain low-level, nonviolent offenses to curb the number of people waiting in jail. Ron Wood, Arkansas Online, "Defendants, victims in Arkansas left waiting for justice in pandemic," 28 Feb. 2021 At least 550 are still under consideration, most of them convicted of nonviolent offenses like fraud or drug possession. New York Times, "Vulnerable Inmates Left in Prison as Covid Rages," 27 Feb. 2021 Trump heralded his administration's criminal justice overhaul for shortening mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses and leading to the release of thousands of incarcerated people, mostly Black Americans. Aamer Madhani, ajc, "Trump legacy on race shadowed by divisive rhetoric, actions," 10 Jan. 2021 The emergency schedule listed a zero bail for people charged with misdemeanors and most nonviolent felonies. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: July 8-9," 12 July 2020 The Larry Smith Correctional Facility is the largest of Riverside County’s five jails and on average holds 1,000 defendants awaiting trial, plus a few hundred inmates convicted of nonviolent felonies. Thalia Beaty, ProPublica, "Somebody’s Gotta Help Me”," 16 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of nonviolent

1905, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nonviolent

Time Traveler for nonviolent

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonviolent was in 1905

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nonviolent

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nonviolent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nonviolent



English Language Learners Definition of nonviolent

: not using or involving violence

More from Merriam-Webster on nonviolent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nonviolent

Comments on nonviolent

What made you want to look up nonviolent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!