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[vahy-uh-leyt] /ˈvaɪ əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), violated, violating.
to break, infringe, or transgress (a law, rule, agreement, promise, instructions, etc.).
to break in upon or disturb rudely; interfere thoughtlessly with:
to violate his privacy.
to break through or pass by force or without right:
to violate a frontier.
to treat irreverently or disrespectfully; desecrate; profane:
violate a human right.
to molest sexually, especially to rape.
Origin of violate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin violātus, past participle of violāre to treat with violence, violate, apparently derivative of violentus violent (taking viol- as base); see -ate1
Related forms
violator, violater, noun
previolate, verb (used with object), previolated, previolating.
quasi-violated, adjective
reviolate, verb (used with object), reviolated, reviolating.
unviolated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for violating
  • All scientific discoveries outrageously violating deeply held religious beliefs.
  • She wondered whether the emitted rays were violating a basic law of thermodynamics: the conservation of energy.
  • But peer-to-peer is about much more than violating the copyright of big record labels.
  • Any physical theory framed violating this principle is a crackpot.
  • And violating their rights by scanning them cannot possibly be used as suspicion alone to stop and search them.
  • So subject matter is key in judging the press's boundary-violating behavior.
  • Drastic new penalties have been imposed for violating broadcasting laws.
  • Those violating the injunction are subject to fines and imprisonment.
  • It collects patents, and then sues other companies for violating them, hoping to make money by selling or licensing them.
  • The companies and nursing home trade group were indicted for violating the corporate-donation ban.
British Dictionary definitions for violating


verb (transitive)
to break, disregard, or infringe (a law, agreement, etc)
to rape or otherwise sexually assault
to disturb rudely or improperly; break in upon
to treat irreverently or disrespectfully; outrage: he violated a sanctuary
(obsolete) to mistreat physically
(archaic) violated or dishonoured
Derived Forms
violable, adjective
violability, violableness, noun
violably, adverb
violation, noun
violative, adjective
violator, violater, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin violāre to do violence to, from vīs strength
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for violating



early 15c., "to break" (an oath, etc.), from Latin violatus (see violation). Sense of "ravish" is first recorded mid-15c. Related: Violated; violating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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