• synonyms


verb (used with object), con·tra·vened, con·tra·ven·ing.
  1. to come or be in conflict with; go or act against; deny or oppose: to contravene a statement.
  2. to violate, infringe, or transgress: to contravene the law.
Show More

Origin of contravene

1560–70; < Late Latin contrāvenīre, equivalent to Latin contrā against + venīre to come
Related formscon·tra·ven·er, noun
Can be confusedcontravene controvert
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for contravening

hinder, overstep, impugn, violate, repudiate, disobey, interfere, infringe, negate, breach, defy, transgress, exclude, resist, intrude, spurn, combat, cross, encroach, interpose

Examples from the Web for contravening

Historical Examples of contravening

  • And so he was apprehended, and summarily tried, on a charge of contravening the statute 55 Geo.

    My Schools and Schoolmasters

    Hugh Miller

  • Cures for infectious sheep disease or for rinderpest amongst the cattle are opposed as contravening the intentions of Providence.

  • Nor did Buddhism for a long time think of contravening the last injunctions of its Founder.

  • The report of that upright minister did not, by contravening facts, affect to exculpate his country.

  • Their abuse of it was their own action, and the action consisted not in conforming to, but in contravening, God's will.


    Robert Flint

British Dictionary definitions for contravening


verb (tr)
  1. to come into conflict with or infringe (rules, laws, etc)
  2. to dispute or contradict (a statement, proposition, etc)
Show More
Derived Formscontravener, nouncontravention (ˌkɒntrəˈvɛnʃən), noun

Word Origin for contravene

C16: from Late Latin contrāvenīre, from Latin contra- + venīre to come
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

Word Origin and History for contravening


1640s, verbal noun from contravene; from 1802 as a present participle adjective.

Show More



1560s, from Middle French contravenir "to transgress, decline, depart," from Late Latin contravenire "to come against," in Medieval Latin "to transgress," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + venire "to come" (see venue). Related: Contravened; contravening.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper