Definition of violence in English:


Syllabification: vi·o·lence
Pronunciation: /ˈvī(ə)ləns


  • 1Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
    More example sentences
    • The most serious incidents include criminal damage and violence against people.
    • What I do not respect however is people who kill or otherwise use violence against people for any reason.
    • One act of violence against another is an act of violence against one's self.
  • 1.1Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force: the violence of her own feelings
    More example sentences
    • No blood is spilled in the book - but its emotional violence is devastating.
    • Alarmed by the violence of her sorrow and by being a witness to it, but impatient with the sorrow itself, Ray was a poor pacifier.
    • The violence of the wind had lessened - though the air remained redolent with the smell of dust.
    intensity, severity, strength, force, vehemence, power, potency, fervency, ferocity, fury, fire
  • 1.2 Law The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
    More example sentences
    • Each of the people who uses or threatens unlawful violence will be guilty of the offence.
    • In other words the receipt of the letter led him to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used.
    • He was alleged to have forced the complainant by violence or threats to engage in sexual activity with him.


do violence to

Damage or adversely affect.
More example sentences
  • If one tries to categorize commercial agricultural production or wage labor activity solely as resistance, one does violence to more than language.
  • At times the attempt to draw literal, historical analogies does violence to Stevensian irony.
  • Six wives said their husbands had threatened to do violence to their children or to their parents and five had been threatened by their husbands with lethal weapons.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin violentia, from violent- 'vehement, violent' (see violent).

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