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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Experts say that the ruling in favor of the plaintiff (who said the law violated his First Amendment rights) could cause a drop in union membership and revenue. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "What's Next For America's Teacher Walkout Movement?," 27 Aug. 2018 Morgan said the smoking ban violated the constitutional amendment that allowed medical pot after being approved by more than 70 percent of voters in 2016. Steven Lemongello, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Medical marijuana protesters call for Gov. Rick Scott to allow smokable pot," 11 July 2018 Several plaintiffs who had been turned down for permits sued, alleging the restriction violated the 2nd Amendment. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Last year's runner-up, Thomas Hardiman has a working-class background that could appeal to Trump voters," 9 July 2018 Is there any chance that our intelligence community farmed out violating the fourth amendment or the Constitution? Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 Defense Distributed, on the other hand, claimed that the government violated the First Amendment by preventing them from uploading the files. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Those Controversial 3D-Printed Guns, Explained," 31 July 2018 The state Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the program to begin, reversing a lower judge’s ruling that the licensing process was flawed and violated the constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. Washington Post, "Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana," 13 July 2018 Apple netted the more significant victory Tuesday, with a ruling by members of the U.S. International Trade Commission that the iPhone maker didn’t violate a patent held by its former chip supplier. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple, Qualcomm Trade Blows in Long-Running Patent Fight," 26 Mar. 2019 October 2014 John was released from prison on October 8 after serving time for violating a restraining order. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John," 14 Jan. 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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about violate

Statistics for violate

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for violate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!