Definition of contravention in US English:



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

    ‘young persons who commit offenses bear responsibility for their contraventions’
    • ‘What are the facts that your client would need to prove against the advertising agency to be knowingly involved in a contravention?’
    • ‘He said that councillors were being asked to vote without full information when a material contravention came before them.’
    • ‘As there are no contraventions of the legislation covering fire precautions, the certificate cannot be cancelled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the condition is that there is a reasonable belief that there has been a contravention of the law.’
    • ‘The contravention is complete when the conduct occurs for the proscribed purpose whether or not it achieves its objective.’
    • ‘I am trying to think of an example of a contravention of this restraining order that would not turn upon presence in the premises.’
    • ‘The inspection did not identify any contraventions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You are concerned to identify the contravention and what follows from the contravention.’
    • ‘If that is right, the contravention lies not in the nature of the implication but in the purpose of the regulation.’
    • ‘Not every instance of outsourcing will involve a contravention of this law.’
    • ‘They did not report contraventions of the regulations when they occurred.’
    • ‘These powers must be exercised on consideration of the likelihood of damage or distress caused by the contravention of the Act.’
    • ‘They are said to arise from both contraventions.’
    • ‘Why would this not be a contravention of that law on the assumption I have made?’
    • ‘At the time of the offence, or the contravention, you will never know whether there has been actual recoupment.’
    • ‘But in both cases, your Honour, one is looking at the misconduct of the contravention.’
    • ‘Identifying the alleged contravention of the Act is no idle pleading point.’
    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).

      • ‘That's in contravention of his contract.’
      • ‘His eavesdropping was indisputably in contravention of the law of the land.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter.’
      • ‘Police chiefs believe such rulings would not be in contravention of human rights legislation although the club has yet to take such action.’
      • ‘It's an illegal occupation in contravention of municipal law, done with absolute arrogance to suppress freedom of dissent and freedom of speech.’
      • ‘They also paid dividends of £60,000 to themselves, of which £32,402 was in contravention of the Companies Act.’
      • ‘If an organisation says something is a bargain it may be in contravention of the consumer protection act.’
      • ‘‘I saw a lot of things at those buildings that might be in contravention of the housing code,’ he says.’
      • ‘He noted that this was in contravention of orders.’


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