View synonyms for violence


[ vahy-uh-luhns ]


  1. swift and intense force:

    the violence of a storm.

    Synonyms: fury, impact, power, might

  2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment:

    to die by violence.

  3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws:

    to take over a government by violence.

  4. a violent act or proceeding.
  5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language:

    the violence of his hatred.

  6. damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration:

    to do editorial violence to a text.


/ ˈvaɪələns /


  1. the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc
  2. powerful, untamed, or devastating force

    the violence of the sea

  3. great strength of feeling, as in language, etc; fervour
  4. an unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp such as tends to overawe or intimidate
  5. do violence to
    1. to inflict harm upon; damage or violate

      they did violence to the prisoners

    2. to distort or twist the sense or intention of

      the reporters did violence to my speech

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Other Words From

  • anti·vio·lence adjective
  • counter·vio·lence noun
  • self-vio·lence noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of violence1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French, from Latin violentia; violent, -ence

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Word History and Origins

Origin of violence1

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

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Example Sentences

For instance, Facebook’s policy on groups tied to violence practically contradicts itself.

People in that city are still arguing, months later, over whether those people were supporting protesters, supporting police, simply trying to incite violence, or some combination thereof.

This makes me think of these groups that used to work on domestic violence in India.

This summer’s unrest comes after years of failure by democratic institutions to respond to police violence.

From Vox

If social-media companies do not act swiftly to stop calls for violence against protesters, the situation can only get worse.

There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.

The fear of violence should not determine what one does or does not say.

When twelve people are killed by violence, whoever they are, for whatever reason, that is a tragedy and a waste.

What they say is, ‘We don’t approve of violence, but you know what?

Gunshots rang out in Paris this morning on a second day of deadly violence that has stunned the French capital.

After we had passed over this desert, we found several garisons to defend the caravans from the violence of the Tartars.

The faint candle-light glimmered on a ponderous gilded cornice, which had also sustained violence.

Victor was the younger son and brother—a tete montee, with a temper which invited violence and a will which no ax could break.

True, in such a case as this, "economic strength" would probably be broken down by the intrusion of physical violence.

For his mind flung itself with violence upon two sentences: he was 'beautiful and precious'; she longed for him to 'comfort' her.