Definition of violate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪəleɪt/


[with object]
1Break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement): they violated the terms of a ceasefire
More example sentences
  • The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.
  • The law also rules that those who violate the law shall be punished with a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to 6 million won.
  • Anyone caught violating the rules is subject to a $10,000 fine.
contravene, breach, commit a breach of, infringe, infract, break, transgress, overstep, not comply with, disobey, defy, flout, fly in the face of, rebel against;
disregard, ignore, pay no heed to, take no notice of
archaic set at naught
1.1Fail to respect (someone’s peace, privacy, or rights): they denied that human rights were being violated
More example sentences
  • He had successfully violated my rights to privacy.
  • Such imbalances should be corrected but in manner that equally protects, not equally violates the privacy rights of men and women.
  • The laws also endanger women's health, and violate privacy rights and the Equal Protection clause of the constitution.
invade, intrude on, encroach on, impinge on, trespass on, obtrude on, break into, interfere with, disturb, disrupt, upset, shatter
2Treat (something sacred) with irreverence or disrespect: he was accused of violating a tomb
More example sentences
  • All accused of violating the sacred space of the child are immediately assumed to be guilty.
  • Native American petitioners had argued that the project would seriously damage what they held sacred and therefore violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
  • I believe the President has violated this sacred trust between the leaders and those of whom he was entrusted to lead.
desecrate, profane, treat sacrilegiously, treat with disrespect, blaspheme, defile, degrade, debase;
damage, vandalize, deface, destroy
North American informal trash
3 literary Rape or sexually assault (someone).
Example sentences
  • ‘When the film came out I felt undressed, and not just because I was sexually violated,’ she says, toying with her fruit salad.
  • In the meantime, paedophiles and rapists are out in the community, doing what they do best, because raping, abusing, and violating women and children is all they know.
  • The idea of who wants what, where, and when sexually can be expressed without violating anyone and without getting anyone raped.
rape, indecently assault, sexually assault, assault, force oneself on, force, sexually abuse, abuse, molest, interfere with, seduce
informal pop someone's cherry, bed
euphemistic have one's (evil) way with, take advantage of
dated ravish, deflower, defile, dishonour, ruin, take away someone's innocence



Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪələb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • What is relevant here is that the logic of instrumentality also leads powerfully in the direction of seeing women as violable.
  • The inviolable schoolgirl is on the front cover, and then the very violable indeed schoolgirl on page 3.
  • This approach is demonstrated to be superior to alternative analyses that do not make reference to ranked and violable constraints.


Late Middle English: from Latin violat- 'treated violently', from the verb violare.

Words that rhyme with violate


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vio|late

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