Definition of contravention in English:



  • An action which offends against a law, treaty, or other ruling.

    ‘the publishing of misleading advertisements was a contravention of the Act’
    [mass noun] ‘contravention of parking restrictions’
    ‘there were repeated raids by one side upon the other in contravention of treaty terms’
    • ‘Not every instance of outsourcing will involve a contravention of this law.’
    • ‘The contravention is complete when the conduct occurs for the proscribed purpose whether or not it achieves its objective.’
    • ‘If that is right, the contravention lies not in the nature of the implication but in the purpose of the regulation.’
    • ‘A recent survey of the site which you occupy, showed a number of contraventions to the site licence and structurally the property appeared to be in a poor condition.’
    • ‘I am trying to think of an example of a contravention of this restraining order that would not turn upon presence in the premises.’
    • ‘These powers must be exercised on consideration of the likelihood of damage or distress caused by the contravention of the Act.’
    • ‘Identifying the alleged contravention of the Act is no idle pleading point.’
    • ‘At the time of the offence, or the contravention, you will never know whether there has been actual recoupment.’
    • ‘You are concerned to identify the contravention and what follows from the contravention.’
    • ‘The inspection did not identify any contraventions.’
    • ‘They did not report contraventions of the regulations when they occurred.’
    • ‘Well, if you say that there has been a contravention of the hearsay rule, you have to demonstrate the purpose for which the courts used the evidence.’
    • ‘He said that councillors were being asked to vote without full information when a material contravention came before them.’
    • ‘What are the facts that your client would need to prove against the advertising agency to be knowingly involved in a contravention?’
    • ‘But in both cases, your Honour, one is looking at the misconduct of the contravention.’
    • ‘Why would this not be a contravention of that law on the assumption I have made?’
    • ‘The legislature could reasonably have intended severity to be a significant deterrent, bearing in mind the risks to public safety arising from some contraventions of the ordinance.’
    • ‘As there are no contraventions of the legislation covering fire precautions, the certificate cannot be cancelled.’
    • ‘They are said to arise from both contraventions.’
    • ‘But the condition is that there is a reasonable belief that there has been a contravention of the law.’
    breach, violation, infringement, non-observance, breaking, transgression, neglect, dereliction
    failure to observe, non-compliance with, departure from
    infraction, delict
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: via French from medieval Latin contraventio(n-), from late Latin contravenire (see contravene).