Definition of contravene in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkäntrəˈvēn/


[with object]
1Violate the prohibition or order of (a law, treaty, or code of conduct): this would contravene the rule against hearsay
More example sentences
  • Hitler's orders completely contravened international laws, which he scorned.
  • A person who contravenes a traffic regulation order, or who uses a vehicle, or causes or permits a vehicle to be used in contravention of a traffic regulation order, shall be guilty of an offence.
  • It also found that the Migration Act contravened international law by barring any judicial review of detention.
1.1Conflict with (a right, principle, etc.), especially to its detriment: this contravened Washington’s commitment to its own proposal
More example sentences
  • They are curtailed because it is unreasonable to reach a decision which contravenes or could contravene human rights unless there are sufficiently significant countervailing considerations.
  • This is because to refuse treatment would contravene the principle that people should be able to move freely to work in another EC country.
  • He appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday claiming the move contravened his human rights.
conflict with, be in conflict with, be at odds with, be at variance with, run counter to



Pronunciation: /ˌkäntrəˈvēnər/
Example sentences
  • In doing so, your Honours, we would submit, if one looks at the words of it, one sees that it is seeking to do no more than to say the contravener has to pay the amount of the loss or damage caused by the contravener's contravention.
  • Avoidance deprived the contraveners of the fruits - the shares - and gave the shares back to shareholders.


Mid 16th century: from late Latin contravenire, from Latin contra- 'against' + venire 'come'.

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Syllabification: con·tra·vene

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