violate

verb
vi·​o·​late | \ ˈvī-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce violate (audio) \
violated; violating

Definition of violate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : break, disregard violate the law
2 : to do harm to the person or especially the chastity of specifically : rape sense 1
3 : to fail to show proper respect for : profane violate a shrine
4 : interrupt, disturb violate the peace of a spring evening— Nancy Larter

violate

adjective
vi·​o·​late | \ ˈvī-ə-lət How to pronounce violate (audio) \

Definition of violate (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic
: subjected to violation

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Other Words from violate

Verb

violative \ vī-​ə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce violative (audio) \ adjective
violator \ vī-​ə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce violator (audio) \ noun

Examples of violate in a Sentence

Verb

He was arrested for violating his parole. The company violated its customers' privacy. She was attacked and violated by an unknown intruder.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Basically, the court said that the city was just trying to make money from people who are already financially struggling, and that the policy violates one of the leading purposes of bankruptcy, which is to help get people back on their feet. Logan Jaffe, ProPublica, "How Chicago, a Hospital and Private Companies Make Money Off the Poor," 5 July 2019 The Marshall Project recently found that at least 61,000 people are in prison for minor parole violations, like violating their curfew, or going to a bar. Christie Marchese, refinery29.com, "When They See Us: What You Can Do About Mass Incarceration," 5 July 2019 Companies violating the sorting rule will face fines from 50,000 to half a million yuan ($7000 to $70,000), while individuals face fines of $7 to $30. Echo Huang, Quartz, "“What kind of rubbish are you?”: China’s first serious trash-sorting rule is driving Shanghai crazy," 5 July 2019 The jury heard the evidence over two weeks and came to the conclusion that standards of care were violated. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore jury's record $229 million malpractice verdict may change a life — but likely not the system," 4 July 2019 One of its star students, Wilson Kinyua, who was set free in February after 19 years behind bars, had argued before the Supreme Court that the death penalty violated the constitution, which forbids cruel or inhuman punishment. The Economist, "Learn the law, hope for freedom," 4 July 2019 Huawei had filed the lawsuit in March, arguing that a law preventing US federal agencies from buying its products violates the US constitution by singling out an individual or group for punishment without trial. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "US government asks judge to dismiss Huawei lawsuit," 4 July 2019 The lawsuit claims Rachel’s violated Florida minimum wage laws and knowingly misclassified its dancers as independent contractors. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "Former Rachel’s exotic dancer claims she was never paid; lawyer says possibly ‘hundreds of girls’ affected," 3 July 2019 According to the outlet, officers saw that Smith had violated the document and notified Martson that there was a warrant out for his arrest. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "90 Day Fiancé's Jay Smith Arrested, Faces Deportation After Ashley Martson's Divorce Filing," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Videos that do not clearly violate YouTube's polices -- that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content -- will appear with a warning and will not be able to gain revenue with ads. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Google, YouTube step up fight against online terrorism and extremism," 19 June 2017 Monday, May 22 Victim of violate domestic relations court order, 1500 block Montecito Road. Sunday, May 21 Female, 38, Ramona Sentinel, "Sheriff's Reports: Thief steals clothing from thrift store," 30 May 2017 On Friday, two government watchdog groups called for investigations into the payroll requests and stipend payments, which seemed to potentially violate state law related to knowingly offering false documents to government officials or agencies. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "4 G.O.P. Senators in New York Also Got False Titles That Carry Extra Pay," 12 May 2017

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for violate

Verb

Middle English, from Latin violatus, past participle of violare, from viol- (as in violentus violent)

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Statistics for violate

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for violate

The first known use of violate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for violate

violate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of violate

: to do something that is not allowed by (a law, rule, etc.)
: to take away, interfere with, or ignore (something, such as a person's rights or privacy) in an unfair or illegal way
: to abuse or show disrespect for (something, such as a holy place) usually by damaging it

violate

verb
vi·​o·​late | \ ˈvī-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce violate (audio) \
violated; violating

Kids Definition of violate

1 : to fail to keep : break Students who violate the rules are punished.
2 : to treat in a very disrespectful way Vandals violated the shrine.
3 : disturb sense 1 Don't violate their privacy.

Other Words from violate

violator \ -​ˌlā-​tər \ noun

violate

transitive verb
vi·​o·​late | \ ˈvī-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce violate (audio) \
violated; violating

Legal Definition of violate

: to go against (as a prohibition or principle) : fail to observe or respect violate a law civil rights were violated violate due process

Other Words from violate

violation \ ˌvī-​ə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce violation (audio) \ noun
violative \ ˈvī-​ə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce violative (audio) \ adjective
violator \ ˈvī-​ə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce violator (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on violate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with violate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for violate

Spanish Central: Translation of violate

Nglish: Translation of violate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of violate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on violate

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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