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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Long criticized for allowing bad behavior to run rampant, Twitter has been trying to rein in the worst offenders, banning accounts that violate its terms and making others less visible. Washington Post, "Twitter CEO Dorsey’s account sent racist tweets after hack," 30 Aug. 2019 Long criticized for allowing bad behavior to run rampant, Twitter has been trying to rein in the worst offenders, banning accounts that violate its terms and making others less visible. Barbara Ortutay, BostonGlobe.com, "Twitter CEO Dorsey’s account sent racist tweets after hack," 30 Aug. 2019 Trump Agenda: Underwater on the economy Democrats are raising the alarm over Trump’s reported promises to pardon those who might violate the law in the rush to build a border wall. NBC News, "Democrats now have a wider Senate map. Can they take advantage of it?," 29 Aug. 2019 It’s hard to do that work with a straight face in a place that violated its own values so clearly in working with Epstein and in disguising that relationship. Emily Flitter, New York Times, "M.I.T. Media Lab in Crisis After 2 Scholars Vow to Leave Over Epstein Ties," 21 Aug. 2019 The ruling made ripples in California and other Western states, effectively blocking municipalities from citing or arresting those who violate local rules prohibiting camping in public areas. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach tentatively approves new police management contract," 20 Aug. 2019 Avon Lake City Council is now considering raising fines and adding jail sentences for those who violate school bus laws. Hannah Drown, cleveland.com, "See new school buses with safety belts, the first in Ohio, on Facebook Live from Avon Lake," 16 Aug. 2019 Any faculty, staff or retirees who violate the policy are subject to penalties from the Intercollegiate Athletics office, the university said. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Employees can’t profit from selling Alabama football tickets, university reminds employees," 9 Aug. 2019 Those who violate the new rules risk getting hit with a steep fine: €250 (around $280) for sitting on the steps and up to €400 (around $450) should the offender dirty or damage the site, according to Elizabeth Schumacher of Deutsche Welle. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Per Favore, Do Not Sit On the Spanish Steps," 8 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for violate

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for violate

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

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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 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

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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

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