violent

adjective
vi·​o·​lent | \ ˈvī-ə-lənt \

Definition of violent 

1a(1) : marked by the use of usually harmful or destructive physical force a violent attack violent crime The peaceful demonstration turned violent.
(2) : showing or including violence violent movies
b : extremely powerful or forceful and capable of causing damage violent storms violent coughing
2 : caused by physical force or violence : not natural a violent death
3a : emotionally agitated to the point of using harmful physical force became violent after an insult
b : prone to commit acts of violence violent prison inmates
4a : notably forceful, furious, or vehement a violent argument a violent denunciation
b : extreme, intense violent pain violent colors

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Other Words from violent

violently adverb

Examples of violent in a Sentence

They witnessed a violent struggle between police and protesters. The peaceful protest suddenly turned violent. The city has experienced an increase in violent crime in the past year. The final scene was extremely violent. She suffered a violent death in a car accident. The patient suddenly became violent and had to be restrained. He's not a particularly violent person.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Season two will be just as dramatic (and violent) as the first. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "'Big Little Lies' Season 2: Everything We Know So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 Japanese markets are closed for a holiday, leaving fewer institutional investors and traders to moderate any violent price swings. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Yen Surges After Apple Upsets the Currency Cart," 3 Jan. 2019 Many of the Sudanese fighters come from the region of Darfur, where violent conflict consumed the countryside for more than a decade. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to child soldiers," 30 Dec. 2018 Next year is shaping up to be packed with notable releases, from the charming world of Animal Crossing to the violent action of Gears of War. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The 40 games we can’t wait to play in 2019," 26 Dec. 2018 Many women remarked that these techniques are no longer accurate in this new climate of violent environmental disasters. Mélissa Godin, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Is Creating a New Atmosphere of Gender Inequality for Women in Malawi," 20 Dec. 2018 In 1996, a violent Communist insurgency ravaged the country; over the next 10 years, some 17,000 people were killed, with civil war finally putting an end to the incumbent government and 240 years of the troubled Nepali monarchy. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 Initially the protests by teachers in the country’s English-speaking region were peaceful, but in response to a government crackdown some separatists have begun waging a violent campaign. Edwin Kindzeka Moki, The Seattle Times, "Cameroon military says it killed 7 suspected separatists," 18 Dec. 2018 Only 22 cities provided Brennan with data for crime and violent crime, but all 30 provided data for murder. German Lopez, Vox, "Crime and murder fell in America’s most populous cities in 2018," 18 Dec. 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for violent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin violentus; akin to Latin vis strength — more at vim

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Statistics for violent

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for violent

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

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More Definitions for violent

violent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of violent

: using or involving the use of physical force to cause harm or damage to someone or something : showing violence

: caused by physical force or violence

: trying to physically attack someone because of anger

violent

adjective
vi·​o·​lent | \ ˈvī-ə-lənt \

Kids Definition of violent

1 : showing very strong force a violent earthquake
2 : extreme entry 1 sense 1, intense violent pain
3 : using or likely to use harmful force a violent person
4 : caused by force a violent death

Other Words from violent

violently adverb The ground shook violently.

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More from Merriam-Webster on violent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for violent

Spanish Central: Translation of violent

Nglish: Translation of violent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of violent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on violent

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