violate

or violated

[vahy-uh-leyt]

What does violate mean?

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To violate is to breach some code of conduct, often in an egregious manner. It is often used to describe breaking the law or committing physical violence against another–especially rape and sexual assault. In black slang, to violate someone is personally insulting or assaulting someone.

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Examples of violate

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Examples of violate
don’t you ever violate and think you’re safe with me
@blowcobain, December 2018
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
Meme Generator

Where does violate come from?

Meme Generator

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.”

Zoom ahead to the 1960s, when violate expanded as a slang term for “forfeiting one’s parole” due to a violation of its conditions. This of course would result in being sent back to prison.

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.

Who uses violate?

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.

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.

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 remained un-violated. If you’re in a healthy competition against someone, violating them can mean the same thing as dominating–or owning–them.

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