verb (used with object), vi·o·lat·ed, vi·o·lat·ing.
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Origin of violate
OTHER WORDS FROM violate
Words nearby violate
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does violate mean?
Where does violate come from?
Violate has violent origins. Indeed, the two words are related. They both come from a Latin root meaning “to treat with violence.”
The verb violate was first recorded in the 1400s for “sexually assaulting or raping someone” and soon after “breaking a rule or law.”
In the 1990s, violate evolved as a Black slang term for “personally attacking someone,” whether as an insult or assault. We find this violate in hip-hop lyrics, such as Twista’s 1997 “Overdose”: “Violate him but can’t annihilate him.”
Juicy J dropped violate on his 2010 “Niggaz Violate” and Young M.A. on his 2017 “OOOUUU,” showing the spread of this slang sense.
How is violate used in real life?
Violate can be very formal. It’s a word often used in legal and political discourse. Many feel as if others have violated their rights or well-being, for instance.
Myth: Cameras violate an individuals right to privacy and dignity.
— Care Protect (@CareProtectLtd) December 26, 2018
Violate remains a term for sexual abuse or rape. If someone feels violated more generally, they mean they feel they’ve been extremely disrespected.
In slang, if you were to sling insults at someone—or violate them—you’d be hitting them below the belt.
I knew I matured knowing I could violate…. but DON’T 🙌🏽
— Pat Ron (@1tabriaa) December 26, 2018
On a much less serious note, however, people can also violate things or people in more playful ways, especially regarding accepted codes of conduct. Bro code? Don’t violate it. How about a roommate agreement? That also should remain un-violated. If you’re in a healthy competition against someone, violating them can mean the same thing as dominating–or owning–them.
Don’t take your cousin with you because I’ve just absolutely VIOLATED him at monopoly
— Chantelle (@chanthepagan) January 14, 2019
More examples of violate:
“Two complaints made against a physical therapist at South Peninsula Hospital to the state’s licensing board for therapists have been reviewed and closed. An unidentified board member found the therapist did not violate statues or regulations governing the practice.”
—Megan Pacer, Peninsula Clarion, December 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for violate
Violate the tombs, if she has taken refuge in the abodes of death, far within some passage or hypogeum.The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5|Theophile Gautier