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violent Line breaks: vio|lent
Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪəl(ə)nt/

Definition of violent in English:


1Using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something: a violent confrontation with riot police
More example sentences
  • At one point, things threatened to turn violent, but police arrived and calmed the volatile situation down.
  • He began to turn violent against my mum, smashing up the house and threatening her.
  • Not because he might turn violent - he has never been violent towards me - but he often conceals things from me.
brutal, vicious, savage, harsh, rough, aggressive, bullying, threatening, terrorizing, fierce, wild, intemperate, hot-headed, hot-tempered, bloodthirsty, ferocious, berserk, frenzied;
in a frenzy, out of control, barbarous, barbaric, thuggish, cut-throat, homicidal, murderous, maniacal, rabid, inhuman, heartless, callous, ruthless, merciless, pitiless, cruel
Scottish informal radge
powerful, forceful, hard, sharp, smart, strong, vigorous, mighty, hefty, harsh, thunderous, savage, ferocious, fierce, brutal, vicious, destructive, damaging, painful;
lethal, deadly, fatal, mortal, death-dealing
1.1 Law Involving an unlawful exercise or exhibition of force.
Example sentences
  • Three of the defendants pleaded guilty to violent disorder last week.
  • The plaintiff was a man with a history of mental disorder and seriously violent behaviour.
  • Indulge in music, sex, dance, exercise, violent video games, bright lights, whatever.
2(Especially of an emotion or a destructive natural force) very strong or powerful: violent dislike the violent eruption killed 1,700 people
More example sentences
  • Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity, ranging from mild irritation to violent rage.
  • But as their relationship developed, it became clear he had an alcohol problem which set off a violent temper.
  • No other individual currently on our screens and in our tabloids can solicit such violent hatred from my otherwise amiable self.
intense, extreme, strong, powerful, forceful, great, vehement, wild, frenzied, raging, riotous, rampaging, rampant, out of control, stormy, tempestuous, turbulent, tumultuous, intemperate, uncontrolled, unrestrained, uncurbed, unchecked, unbridled, unfettered, uncontrollable, unmanageable, ungovernable, inordinate, excessive, consuming, passionate, overwhelming, immoderate
2.1(Of a colour) vivid: violent fiery colours
More example sentences
  • Van Gogh expressed psychological turmoil through expressionist contrasts of violent colour.
  • He was covered from head to toe in violent pink paint.
  • Well Dave, it could be a trick of the light, but it looks like you are developing a "island gut" under that violent orange shirt


Middle English (in the sense 'having a marked or powerful effect'): via Old French from Latin violent- 'vehement, violent'.



Example sentences
  • The year since the war has been one in which the pieces on the international chess board were violently shaken.
  • The kayak shuddered violently, and he was blinded by salty spray that flew up at his face.
  • Are you sometimes in difficult situations because you have reacted angrily or even violently?

Words that rhyme with violent

turbulent • redolent

Definition of violent in:

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Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly