Definition of violence in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvī(ə)ləns/


1Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
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.
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.
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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vi·o·lence

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