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

Coming years would bring violent backlash against the US civil-rights movement, the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and of Martin Luther King, and the protracted American war in Vietnam. Johnny Simon, Quartzy, "Robert Frank exposed an America that Americans weren’t ready to see," 11 Sep. 2019 Jonathan is a therapist primarily for disaffected young white men of privilege, teenagers who seem to have everything but who suddenly turn angry, sullen, withdrawn, violent. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "Boy, Uninterrupted," 10 Sep. 2019 The sport is violent and the game was chippy, but push someone in the face at work Monday and kick someone else in the head and your actions will make about as much sense as what Garrett and Robinson did. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns’ loss both better and worse than you thought -- Can Freddie Kitchens fix it?," 9 Sep. 2019 May generally has more tornadoes than any other month, but April's twisters are sometimes more violent. Ron Johnson, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 28 Aug. 2019 The group recorded 1,081 violent acts, the most since the group began tracking these incidents. Kate Smith, CBS News, "Violence against abortion clinics hit a record high last year. Doctors say it's getting worse.," 17 Sep. 2019 Rollins is still prosecuting eight people arrested for violent acts at the Straight Pride Parade. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Straight Pride Parade fallout: Boston DA wins fight over counter protester arrests," 9 Sep. 2019 The security strategy needs to be reoriented toward crimes that really have victims,’’ such as killings and other violent acts, said Lisa Sánchez, director of Mexicans United Against Crime, a group that has campaigned to decriminalize drugs. Amy Guthrie, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexican cannabis users eagerly await legal marijuana," 3 Sep. 2019 Hong Kong law permits life imprisonment for those who commit violent acts or acts that might interfere with flight safety at an airport. Author: Vincent Thian, Yanan Wang, Anchorage Daily News, "Flights restart at Hong Kong airport as protesters apologize," 14 Aug. 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

17 Oct 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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