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 violate (audio) \ adjective
violator \ vī-​ə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce violate (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 The Department of Justice sued the Alabama prison system last year, alleging that the violent conditions in men’s prisons violate the Constitution. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "ADOC says Jim Zeigler lawsuit against prison lease plan is ‘baseless’ and ‘politically motivated’," 28 Apr. 2021 The decision affirmed that sentence enhancements for hate crimes are constitutional and do not violate a defendant’s First Amendment rights. Washington Post, "Nearly every state has a hate-crime law. Why don’t more people use them?," 26 Apr. 2021 Kiley and Gallagher maintain that the CESA, which Newsom used to justify issuing executive orders, does not give the governor the authority to legislate, and his actions violate the state constitution’s separation of powers delineation. Bethany Blankley, Washington Examiner, "Legislators present case against Newsom before appeals court," 22 Apr. 2021 The bills violate the state constitution and threaten the safety and economy of residents, Little said, by handcuffing the state’s ability to quickly take action during emergencies like earthquakes, droughts or floods. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Crowd record, ‘secret prom,’ demand drop: News from around our 50 states," 20 Apr. 2021 The lawsuit claims the two new laws violate the state's Constitution by putting unconstitutional burdens on young, low income, disabled and Indigenous voters. Dianne Gallagher, CNN, "Montana Democrats sue after GOP governor signs into law two bills restricting voting access," 20 Apr. 2021 If there’s a compelling argument that those laws violate the U.S. Constitution, they can be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "‘Stuffing Their Mouths with Gold’ — Selling the Biden/Yellen Tax Cartel," 10 Apr. 2021 Congress must ensure that all Americans have the right to sue federal agents who violate the Constitution. Nick Sibilla, Forbes, "A Vital Protection For Constitutional Rights Is Now A ‘Relic,’ Federal Judge Warns," 11 Mar. 2021 The companion bill is intended to give institutions the ability to right their wrongs in a way that the sponsors feel doesn’t violate the Constitution. Fox News, "Colorado bill would grant child sexual assault victims unlimited time to sue abusers," 27 Feb. 2021 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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Time Traveler for violate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for violate

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Violate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/violate. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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

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Comments on violate

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