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

Jordan Ribariu, 28, was arrested at his home for violating a civil protection order, a misdemeanor, the Mount Healthy Police Department said in a statement. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Mount Healthy cop arrested, charged with crimes including violating a protection order," 21 June 2019 On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the Federal Trade commission is in the late stages of an investigation into YouTube, for allegedly violating children’s privacy. Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, "Americans lack trust in social networks’ judgment to remove offensive posts, Pew finds," 20 June 2019 Qualcomm made its last pitch Wednesday to a San Jose Federal judge that sanctions for violating antitrust laws should be put on hold pending review by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Qualcomm says FTC is wrong to fight stay of antitrust ruling," 20 June 2019 He was charged with two first-degree felonies for fraud and one third-degree felony for violating state securities laws. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, "Criminal case against Texas AG Ken Paxton in limbo as prosecutors suffer another setback in pay dispute," 19 June 2019 In February, the consumer protection agency fined the music video-sharing app Music.ly, now known as TikTok, a record $5.7 million for violating child privacy laws. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "F.T.C. Said to Be Investigating YouTube Over Child Privacy Claims," 19 June 2019 As of late Wednesday, he hadn't been formally charged, but can be held for violating his probation. Keith Schubert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Probation, not prison, for a fourth drunken driving conviction? In Wisconsin, it's a common sentence.," 19 June 2019 Republican lawmakers said people shouldn't be rewarded for violating immigration rules. NBC News, "NY approves driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants," 18 June 2019 Hector Garza Center has been cited 49 times for violating state standards over the past three years. Allie Morris, ExpressNews.com, "State investigates death of foster child at San Antonio treatment center," 13 June 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

24 Jun 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 device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!