violate

1 of 2

verb

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

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 eveningNancy Larter
violative adjective
violator noun

violate

2 of 2

adjective

vi·​o·​late ˈvī-ə-lət How to pronounce violate (audio)
archaic
: subjected to violation

Example Sentences

Verb He was arrested for violating his parole. The company violated its customers' privacy. She was attacked and violated by an unknown intruder.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Providers who violate the law would face up to five years in prison. Dallas News, 20 Jan. 2023 People who violate the bill regulating venues and performances, SB 278, could face a misdemeanor, a fine of up to $1,000 and/or jail time. Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 20 Jan. 2023 Schools would have to adopt disciplinary policies for any individuals who violate the bathroom designation under the bill. Will Langhorne, Arkansas Online, 18 Jan. 2023 Indiana is among 48 states in an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact that helps agencies coordinate to deal with people who violate wildlife and natural resource laws outside of their home state. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Nov. 2022 Health care providers who violate the law could face a fine of up to $50,000 and 20 years in prison. Brian Bennett, Time, 9 Nov. 2022 Physicians who violate the law could face prosecution and have their license revoked. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 1 Nov. 2022 Migrants who violate the rule would be barred from seeking legal entry to the United States for five years. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2023 Lawsuits could also be brought against gun dealers who violate the state’s law against selling or transferring weapons (besides hunting rifles) to anyone under 21 years old. Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2023
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, 19 June 2017 Monday, May 22 Victim of violate domestic relations court order, 1500 block Montecito Road. Sunday, May 21 Female, 38, Ramona Sentinel, 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, 12 May 2017 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near violate

Cite this Entry

“Violate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/violate. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

violate

verb
vi·​o·​late
ˈvī-ə-ˌlāt
violated; violating
1
: to fail to keep or observe : break
violate the law
2
: to do harm or damage to
3
: to treat with great disrespect
violate a house of worship
4
: disturb sense 1a
don't violate their privacy
violator
-ˌlāt-ər
noun

Legal Definition

violate

transitive verb
vi·​o·​late ˈvī-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce violate (audio)
violated; violating
: to go against (as a prohibition or principle) : fail to observe or respect
violate a law
civil rights were violated
violate due process
violation noun
violative adjective
violator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on violate

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