[vahy-uh-luh nt]


acting with or characterized by uncontrolled, strong, rough force: a violent earthquake.
caused by injurious or destructive force: a violent death.
intense in force, effect, etc.; severe; extreme: violent pain; violent cold.
roughly or immoderately vehement or ardent: violent passions.
furious in impetuosity, energy, etc.: violent haste.
of, relating to, or constituting a distortion of meaning or fact.

Origin of violent

1300–50; Middle English < Latin violentus, equivalent to vi-, shortening (before a vowel) of base of vīs force, violence + -olentus, variant (after a vowel) of -ulentus -ulent
Related formsvi·o·lent·ly, adverbo·ver·vi·o·lent, adjectiveo·ver·vi·o·lent·ly, adverbo·ver·vi·o·lent·ness, nounqua·si-vi·o·lent, adjectivequa·si-vi·o·lent·ly, adverbself-vi·o·lent, adjectiveul·tra·vi·o·lent, adjectiveul·tra·vi·o·lent·ly, adverbun·vi·o·lent, adjectiveun·vi·o·lent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedviolent virulent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for violently

Contemporary Examples of violently

Historical Examples of violently

  • The boy must be a young brute to turn upon you so violently.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • She pushed the lamp-post away from her violently, and found herself walking.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • She said this violently, but she let her clasped hands fall in discouragement.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I had conducted so much and so violently since; but I was not too old to remember Biddy's hood.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • She stopped, and trembled so violently that she was unable to speak.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for violently



marked or caused by great physical force or violencea violent stab
(of a person) tending to the use of violence, esp in order to injure or intimidate others
marked by intensity of any kinda violent clash of colours
characterized by an undue use of force; severe; harsh
caused by or displaying strong or undue mental or emotional forcea violent tongue
tending to distort the meaning or intenta violent interpretation of the text
Derived Formsviolently, adverb

Word Origin for violent

C14: from Latin violentus, probably 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 violently



mid-14c.; see violence. In Middle English the word also was applied in reference to heat, sunlight, smoke, etc., with the sense "having some quality so strongly as to produce a powerful effect." Related: Violently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper