[ vahy-uh-luhns ]
/ ˈvaɪ ə ləns /


swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.
an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.
a violent act or proceeding.
rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.
damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration: to do editorial violence to a text.

Origin of violence

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin violentia; see violent, -ence


an·ti·vi·o·lence, adjectivecoun·ter·vi·o·lence, nounself-vi·o·lence, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for violence

British Dictionary definitions for violence

/ (ˈvaɪələns) /


the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc
powerful, untamed, or devastating forcethe violence of the sea
great strength of feeling, as in language, etc; fervour
an unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp such as tends to overawe or intimidate
do violence to
  1. to inflict harm upon; damage or violatethey did violence to the prisoners
  2. to distort or twist the sense or intention ofthe reporters did violence to my speech

Word Origin for violence

C13: via Old French from Latin violentia impetuosity, from violentus violent
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