Definition of contravene in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Violate the prohibition or order of (a law, treaty, or code of conduct)

    ‘this would contravene the rule against hearsay’
    • ‘We were also advised that this was the normal practice for small businesses and was not contravening any laws.’
    • ‘A person who contravenes a traffic regulation order, or who uses a vehicle, or causes or permits a vehicle to be used in contravention of a traffic regulation order, shall be guilty of an offence.’
    • ‘If, on the other hand, members of organisations do engage in acts which contravene the criminal law then the law is able to deal with them.’
    • ‘If the BBC contravene the code it is not acting unlawfully.’
    • ‘The European Union has added its weight to the dispute echoing the UK's assertion that the action contravened international law.’
    • ‘It also found that the Migration Act contravened international law by barring any judicial review of detention.’
    • ‘Hitler's orders completely contravened international laws, which he scorned.’
    • ‘The endeavour is to bring those who contravene international law to justice, whether for genocide, possessing illegal weapons or whatever.’
    • ‘As I have said in the past, the entire plan contravened the international law concerning occupied territories, which does not permit an occupier to make alterations in the character of the occupied society or to change civil law.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, anyone who contravened the pirate law or code, would be dealt with viciously.’
    • ‘Deliberate poisoning on a grand scale, such as the use of poison gases in warfare is uncommon and contravenes international law.’
    • ‘But those who contravene the racial laws are persecuted.’
    • ‘These are concrete factual matters and they wish to ensure that their intended activity does not contravene valid law.’
    • ‘I mean, initially I was like, ‘No no, I just think this particular war is unjustified and contravenes international law.’’
    • ‘They can only interfere with an act of executive authority if it be shown that the authority has contravened the law.’
    • ‘He waged a war of aggression that contravened international law.’
    • ‘He then considered the question of whether it was necessary to establish an intention to injure where the conspiracy involved action that contravened penal law.’
    • ‘Given that the entire war contravenes international law, does it matter?’
    • ‘A camera was installed in a place where women frequently changed clothing, and the company was found to have contravened the law and was fined, I think it was $700 or $800.’
    • ‘The essence of this principle seems to be that citizens who know that their conduct is on the borderline of illegality take the risk that their behaviour will be held to contravene the law.’
    break, breach, fail to comply with, fail to observe, violate, infringe, offend against, transgress against
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    1. 1.1 Conflict with (a right, principle, etc.), especially to its detriment.
      ‘this contravened Washington's commitment to its own proposal’
      • ‘What matters is how this declaration would contribute to the uplifting of morals by those in government and the general populace and whether it contravenes the rights and freedoms of non-Christians.’
      • ‘And this contravenes the principle that I have just proposed.’
      • ‘To allow pure punishment in this way contravenes almost every principle which has been evolved for the protection of offenders.’
      • ‘They are curtailed because it is unreasonable to reach a decision which contravenes or could contravene human rights unless there are sufficiently significant countervailing considerations.’
      • ‘I never thought that a socialist minister with a progressive attitude and respect for the constitution would launch such an attack on religious freedom… It's not constitutional and it contravenes fundamental rights.’
      • ‘This line of argument is not only absurd, it contravenes elementary democratic principles.’
      • ‘People talk about that as contravening the right of presumption of innocence.’
      • ‘Since the traumatic incident was, by definition, unpleasant, its repetition appeared to contravene the pleasure principle.’
      • ‘This is because to refuse treatment would contravene the principle that people should be able to move freely to work in another EC country.’
      • ‘This is a victimless crime, costs the taxpayer a ridiculous amount of money and in many cases contravenes people's human rights of privacy and choice.’
      • ‘He appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday claiming the move contravened his human rights.’
      • ‘Tell him that the Bank's policy contravenes human rights, breaks his previous promises and should not be implemented.’
      • ‘What chance, then, of the judges now forbidding parliament to contravene our home-grown constitutional principle of the rule of law?’
      • ‘Any mark of disgrace worn under order would contravene this principle.’
      • ‘This is a regime that contravenes every single principle or value anyone of our politics believes in.’
      • ‘It also threatens social and political stability in France, and contravenes the rights which secularism and the Republic are supposed to protect.’
      • ‘The proposal contravenes the policy and objective.’
      • ‘So you think being forced to walk 20 yards to have a cigarette contravenes your human rights?’
      • ‘What we want is not a change in the law but a declaration by the courts that the current law is illegal because it contravenes human rights under the European convention.’
      • ‘The council decided an application to convert an old inn into houses would contravene the human rights of villagers who drank there.’
      conflict with, be in conflict with, be at odds with, be at variance with, be in opposition to, clash with, run counter to, be inconsistent with, be contrary to
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Mid 16th century: from late Latin contravenire, from Latin contra- ‘against’ + venire ‘come’.