vi·​o·​lence | \ ˈvī-lən(t)s How to pronounce violence (audio) , ˈvī-ə- \

Definition of violence

1a : the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy
b : an instance of violent treatment or procedure
2 : injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : outrage
3a : intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force the violence of the storm
b : vehement feeling or expression : fervor also : an instance of such action or feeling
c : a clashing or jarring quality : discordance
4 : undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for violence



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Examples of violence in a Sentence

They need to learn how to settle their arguments without resorting to violence. movies filled with sex and violence The violence of the storm caused great fear.
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Recent Examples on the Web But others said Americans in Iraq, and elsewhere in the region, will almost certainly be targeted and drawn into the violence. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "'Entire world will need to be on high alert': Iran general’s death stirs fear of wide fallout," 6 Jan. 2020 The confrontation has left the region bracing for a sharp escalation of violence - with Iraq possibly at the center of the storm. Anchorage Daily News, "In Baghdad, fears that U.S.-Iran showdowns could leave Iraq caught in middle," 5 Jan. 2020 Under cover of Iraq’s sectarian violence, Iran took its revenge. al, "An old forever-war is new again," 3 Jan. 2020 On Wednesday, a Hasidic man was assaulted in Brooklyn, the latest in a string of anti-Semitic violence. CBS News, "What's behind the recent rash of anti-Semitic attacks?," 3 Jan. 2020 John Wick 3: Parabellum > Joker Chad Stahelski’s slapstick violence wittily satirizes Millennial desperation (imagine if John Woo had Fred Astaire’s aplomb). Armond White, National Review, "The 15th Annual Better-Than List," 3 Jan. 2020 Schmidt said the incident was rare act of violence between people who knew each other. Anna Bauman,, "Man who helped woman confront ex-boyfriend in Dublin charged in her death," 3 Jan. 2020 Within hours of the attack on the embassy, President Donald Trump accused Iran of orchestrating the violence. Henry Austin, NBC News, "Esper: U.S. could 'take preemptive action' if Iran prepares fresh attacks," 2 Jan. 2020 Arkansas law allows use of deadly force if a person believes someone is about to commit felony violence or use unlawful, deadly physical force, Durrett said. Arkansas Online, "2 cleared by prosecutor, called heroic for fatally shooting Fayetteville officer's killer," 1 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'violence.' 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 violence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for violence

Time Traveler

The first known use of violence was in the 14th century

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Statistics for violence

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Violence.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for violence


How to pronounce violence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of violence

: the use of physical force to harm someone, to damage property, etc.
: great destructive force or energy


vi·​o·​lence | \ ˈvī-ə-ləns How to pronounce violence (audio) \

Kids Definition of violence

1 : the use of force to harm a person or damage property
2 : great force or strength especially of a kind that involves destruction Timothy was not purposely trying to frighten me about the violence of the storm …— Theodore Taylor, The Cay

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Comments on violence

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