follow Dictionary.com

Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!

violent

[vahy-uh-luh nt] /ˈvaɪ ə lənt/
adjective
1.
acting with or characterized by uncontrolled, strong, rough force:
a violent earthquake.
2.
caused by injurious or destructive force:
a violent death.
3.
intense in force, effect, etc.; severe; extreme:
violent pain; violent cold.
4.
roughly or immoderately vehement or ardent:
violent passions.
5.
furious in impetuosity, energy, etc.:
violent haste.
6.
of, pertaining to, or constituting a distortion of meaning or fact.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin violentus, equivalent to vi-, shortening (before a vowel) of base of vīs force, violence + -olentus, variant (after a vowel) of -ulentus -ulent
Related forms
violently, adverb
overviolent, adjective
overviolently, adverb
overviolentness, noun
quasi-violent, adjective
quasi-violently, adverb
self-violent, adjective
ultraviolent, adjective
ultraviolently, adverb
unviolent, adjective
unviolently, adverb
Can be confused
violent, virulent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for violent
  • Springtime brings the possibility of extreme weather, including violent thunder-storms and tornadoes.
  • Severe mental illness alone is not generally enough to cause violent behavior.
  • The mood was described as somber in places, and bordering on violent in others.
  • It's awful that there are so many violent protests happening right now.
  • The cells lie within an area of the hypothalamus with known links to violent behavior.
  • As a science reporter, you've covered a lot of violent weather phenomena.
  • Point being, yes, traumatic violent events are important to consider.
  • In the past decade, two ways of tackling violent crime have dominated police thinking.
  • Most evidence suggests ill effects from violent video games.
  • To showcase stolen pieces aids and abets a filthy, violent and illegal business.
British Dictionary definitions for violent

violent

/ˈvaɪələnt/
adjective
1.
marked or caused by great physical force or violence: a violent stab
2.
(of a person) tending to the use of violence, esp in order to injure or intimidate others
3.
marked by intensity of any kind: a violent clash of colours
4.
characterized by an undue use of force; severe; harsh
5.
caused by or displaying strong or undue mental or emotional force: a violent tongue
6.
tending to distort the meaning or intent: a violent interpretation of the text
Derived Forms
violently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin violentus, probably 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for violent
adj.

mid-14c.; see violence. In Middle English the word also was applied in reference to heat, sunlight, smoke, etc., with the sense "having some quality so strongly as to produce a powerful effect." Related: Violently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for violent

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for violent

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with violent