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

Most of the 13 are accused of violent, heinous acts. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "These Harris County Jail inmates have been waiting years for trial," 8 July 2019 The department’s policy specifies that facial recognition will be used only to investigate violent crimes. Amy Harmon, New York Times, "As Cameras Track Detroit’s Residents, a Debate Ensues Over Racial Bias," 8 July 2019 Alabama is one of several states with laws allowing criminal charges when fetuses are killed in violent acts. Washington Post, "Case against woman who lost fetus dropped," 7 July 2019 The violent acts by the protesters have crossed a bottom line. Time Staff, Time, "Hong Kong's Embattled Leader Appeals for Calm in the Wake of Violent Anti-Government Protests," 2 July 2019 Earlier today, ProPublica reported on a Facebook group for Border Patrol agents, in which the agents joke about violent acts against migrants and mock lawmakers. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "Border Patrol told detained woman to drink from toilets, Congress members say," 1 July 2019 The Justice Department has previously declared similar emergencies after mass shootings and to combat spikes in violent crime. USA TODAY, "Chicago cows, bras for turtles, gold rush: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 The police have arrested three male teenagers, ages 14 to 17, who allegedly carried out the violent act. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "New father dies after being shot by three teenagers in random act of violence," 28 June 2019 These could include confining the technique to violent crimes, as states like California have done for another controversial form of DNA matching called familial search. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Man Found Guilty in a Murder Mystery Cracked By Cousins’ DNA," 28 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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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