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See more synonyms for violate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), vi·o·lat·ed, vi·o·lat·ing.
  1. to break, infringe, or transgress (a law, rule, agreement, promise, instructions, etc.).
  2. to break in upon or disturb rudely; interfere thoughtlessly with: to violate his privacy.
  3. to break through or pass by force or without right: to violate a frontier.
  4. to treat irreverently or disrespectfully; desecrate; profane: violate a human right.
  5. to molest sexually, especially to rape.
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Origin of violate

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin violātus, past participle of violāre to treat with violence, violate, apparently derivative of violentus violent (taking viol- as base); see -ate1
Related formsvi·o·la·tor, vi·o·lat·er, nounpre·vi·o·late, verb (used with object), pre·vi·o·lat·ed, pre·vi·o·lat·ing.qua·si-vi·o·lat·ed, adjectivere·vi·o·late, verb (used with object), re·vi·o·lat·ed, re·vi·o·lat·ing.un·vi·o·lat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for violate

contravene, defy, infringe, offend, oppose, disregard, breach, disrupt, disobey, abuse, invade, withstand, err, profane, meddle, resist, trespass, contaminate, encroach, outrage

Examples from the Web for violate

Historical Examples of 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

British Dictionary definitions for violate


verb (tr)
  1. to break, disregard, or infringe (a law, agreement, etc)
  2. to rape or otherwise sexually assault
  3. to disturb rudely or improperly; break in upon
  4. to treat irreverently or disrespectfully; outragehe violated a sanctuary
  5. obsolete to mistreat physically
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  1. archaic violated or dishonoured
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Derived Formsviolable, adjectiveviolability or violableness, nounviolably, adverbviolation, nounviolative, adjectiveviolator or violater, noun

Word Origin for violate

C15: from Latin violāre to do violence to, 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

Word Origin and History for violate


early 15c., "to break" (an oath, etc.), from Latin violatus (see violation). Sense of "ravish" is first recorded mid-15c. Related: Violated; violating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper