violent

adjective
vi·​o·​lent | \ ˈvī-ə-lənt How to pronounce violent (audio) \

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

The messages include violent prompts about stabbing people, taking pills, and even killing yourself. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "What Is The Momo Challenge on Instagram and YouTube?," 27 Feb. 2019 The 1930s came to a violent end on Sept. 1, 1939, when the Nazis marched into Poland. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "America Is Torn Between Trump’s Fibs and Progressives’ Fantasies," 15 Feb. 2019 In 2017, Aaron Hernandez, a former player for the New England Patriots, hanged himself in prison while serving time for a violent murder. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Last year was the most violent in Mexico’s peacetime history, with 33,341 homicides across the country, according to government figures released Monday. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Mexico’s New Focus to Stem Violent Culture: Children," 26 Jan. 2019 All the elements are there: political mayhem, the extreme gap between rich and poor, seriously violent riots in the street. Vogue, "Vogue Runway’s Critics Weigh In on the Fall 2019 Menswear Collections—And the Seismic Shifts Changing the Business," 22 Jan. 2019 With support from one of Jamie’s old friends, Brianna returns to Wilmington to confront a violent figure from her past in an attempt to find some peace. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Season 4 Episode 12 Clip: Bree and Lord John Are Bonding—In Wilmington," 17 Jan. 2019 Roughly the size of Singapore, the lake occupies a caldera formed 26,500 years ago, when the Taupo supervolcano exploded in the most violent eruption on earth in the past, oh, 70,000 years. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "We Should All Just Move to New Zealand," 17 Jan. 2019 Mathews had founded The Order, also known as the Brüder Schweigen or Silent Brotherhood, a violent gang of white supremacists determined to start a race war. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘Bucolic’ Whidbey Island surprised at skinhead headlines — and recent Lynnwood assault," 31 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

7 Mar 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 How to pronounce violent (audio) \

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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