Definition of contravene in English:



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

    ‘this would contravene the rule against hearsay’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They can only interfere with an act of executive authority if it be shown that the authority has contravened the law.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Given that the entire war contravenes international law, does it matter?’
    • ‘It also found that the Migration Act contravened international law by barring any judicial review of detention.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, anyone who contravened the pirate law or code, would be dealt with viciously.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are concrete factual matters and they wish to ensure that their intended activity does not contravene valid law.’
    • ‘The European Union has added its weight to the dispute echoing the UK's assertion that the action contravened international law.’
    • ‘Hitler's orders completely contravened international laws, which he scorned.’
    • ‘He waged a war of aggression that contravened international law.’
    • ‘Deliberate poisoning on a grand scale, such as the use of poison gases in warfare is uncommon and contravenes international law.’
    • ‘We were also advised that this was the normal practice for small businesses and was not contravening any laws.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the BBC contravene the code it is not acting unlawfully.’
    • ‘But those who contravene the racial laws are persecuted.’
    • ‘The endeavour is to bring those who contravene international law to justice, whether for genocide, possessing illegal weapons or whatever.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I mean, initially I was like, ‘No no, I just think this particular war is unjustified and contravenes international law.’’
    break, breach, fail to comply with, fail to observe, violate, infringe, offend against, transgress against
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    1. 1.1Conflict 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.’
      • ‘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 proposal contravenes the policy and objective.’
      • ‘This line of argument is not only absurd, it contravenes elementary democratic principles.’
      • ‘Tell him that the Bank's policy contravenes human rights, breaks his previous promises and should not be implemented.’
      • ‘He appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday claiming the move contravened his human rights.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Any mark of disgrace worn under order would contravene this principle.’
      • ‘What chance, then, of the judges now forbidding parliament to contravene our home-grown constitutional principle of the rule of law?’
      • ‘People talk about that as contravening the right of presumption of innocence.’
      • ‘The council decided an application to convert an old inn into houses would contravene the human rights of villagers who drank there.’
      • ‘It also threatens social and political stability in France, and contravenes the rights which secularism and the Republic are supposed to protect.’
      • ‘So you think being forced to walk 20 yards to have a cigarette contravenes your human rights?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is a regime that contravenes every single principle or value anyone of our politics believes in.’
      • ‘And this contravenes the principle that I have just proposed.’
      • ‘This is because to refuse treatment would contravene the principle that people should be able to move freely to work in another EC country.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To allow pure punishment in this way contravenes almost every principle which has been evolved for the protection of offenders.’
      • ‘Since the traumatic incident was, by definition, unpleasant, its repetition appeared to contravene the pleasure principle.’
      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.