Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday February 12, 2002
contravene \kon-truh-VEEN\ , transitive verb:
1. To act or be counter to; to violate.
2. To oppose in argument; to contradict.
In 1620 most people considered the likelihood of reversing the seasons inside a building impossible, and many deemed it sacrilege, an attempt to contravene the natural order, to twist the configuration of the world established by God.
-- Tom Shachtman, Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
Anorexics, for example, clearly contravene our evolutionary dictate to eat.
-- Jerry A. Coyne, "Of Vice and Men", The New Republic, April 3, 2000
Contravene comes from Late Latin contravenire, "to oppose," from Latin contra-, "against" + venire, "to come."