Definition of contravention in English:



  • An action that violates a law, treaty, or other ruling.

    ‘young persons who commit offenses bear responsibility for their contraventions’
    • ‘These powers must be exercised on consideration of the likelihood of damage or distress caused by the contravention of the Act.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are said to arise from both contraventions.’
    • ‘The inspection did not identify any contraventions.’
    • ‘I am trying to think of an example of a contravention of this restraining order that would not turn upon presence in the premises.’
    • ‘If that is right, the contravention lies not in the nature of the implication but in the purpose of the regulation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the condition is that there is a reasonable belief that there has been a contravention of the law.’
    • ‘Identifying the alleged contravention of the Act is no idle pleading point.’
    • ‘What are the facts that your client would need to prove against the advertising agency to be knowingly involved in a contravention?’
    • ‘The contravention is complete when the conduct occurs for the proscribed purpose whether or not it achieves its objective.’
    • ‘Not every instance of outsourcing will involve a contravention of this law.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘They did not report contraventions of the regulations when they occurred.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said that councillors were being asked to vote without full information when a material contravention came before them.’
    breach, violation, infringement, non-observance, breaking, transgression, neglect, dereliction
    View synonyms


  • in contravention of

    • In a manner contrary and disobedient to (a law or other ruling)

      • ‘He noted that this was in contravention of orders.’
      • ‘It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter.’
      • ‘His eavesdropping was indisputably in contravention of the law of the land.’
      • ‘That's in contravention of his contract.’
      • ‘Police chiefs believe such rulings would not be in contravention of human rights legislation although the club has yet to take such action.’
      • ‘If an organisation says something is a bargain it may be in contravention of the consumer protection act.’
      • ‘It's an illegal occupation in contravention of municipal law, done with absolute arrogance to suppress freedom of dissent and freedom of speech.’
      • ‘‘I saw a lot of things at those buildings that might be in contravention of the housing code,’ he says.’
      • ‘They also paid dividends of £60,000 to themselves, of which £32,402 was in contravention of the Companies Act.’
      • ‘Lord Morrison wrote recently in the angling press that the Bill could be in contravention of European law and the Convention on Human Rights as there are no proposals to compensate for loss of income.’


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