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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
When Poseidon attacks her in Athena’s temple, violating the sacred space, Athena seeks her revenge not from him, but from Medusa. Marianne Gordon, Peoplemag, 19 June 2024 Stiff fines were levied against African Americans for violating curfews, possessing firearms or displaying objectionable public behavior (harsh speeches or insulting gestures). Charles Blow, The Mercury News, 19 June 2024 In May, the state fined Miami-Dade $123,000 for violating an agreement to stop spilling wastewater in the ocean. Claire Grunewald, Miami Herald, 19 June 2024 Calhoun’s appearance also was scheduled to take place as the Justice Department considers whether to prosecute Boeing for violating terms of a settlement following the fatal crashes. Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News, 18 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for violate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'violate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 Jun. 2024.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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