• synonyms


[non-vahy-uh-luh ns]
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  1. absence or lack of violence; state or condition of avoiding violence.
  2. the policy, practice, or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination, or the like.
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Origin of nonviolence

First recorded in 1915–20; non- + violence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

pacification, pacifism, passiveness, passivity, nonviolence

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British Dictionary definitions for non-violence


  1. abstention from the use of physical force to achieve goals
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Derived Formsnonviolent, adjective
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 non-violence


also nonviolence, 1831, from non- + violence. Gandhi used it from 1920.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper