Definition of violence in US English:

violence

noun

  • 1Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

    • ‘New laws could be passed in a bid to tackle the increasing levels of violence against nurses and hospital staff.’
    • ‘Poor behaviour and violence in class is said to be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching.’
    • ‘His attitude showed how domestic violence can be as damaging mentally as it is physically.’
    • ‘All four defendants deny they were responsible for any of the violence against him.’
    • ‘She is pushing for changes in the penal code for rape and violence against women.’
    • ‘Police have warned fans that that any violence or bad behaviour will not be tolerated.’
    • ‘It is now being recognised that there is a problem of increased violence against staff.’
    • ‘What I do not respect however is people who kill or otherwise use violence against people for any reason.’
    • ‘He began life in a violent way but has learnt to channel that physical violence into creative energy.’
    • ‘What hurts most about domestic violence is that the bruises on your body are created by somebody you love.’
    • ‘We found a clear relation between experiencing controlling behaviour and violence.’
    • ‘There had been some physical violence, but a court safety order seemed to sort that.’
    • ‘The scheme comes about in response to increased levels of violence against health workers.’
    • ‘But the down side is the possibility of violence and bad behaviour on the streets.’
    • ‘The aims of the campaign are to highlight the prevalence of violence against women.’
    • ‘The trouble then spreads to town centre takeaways with incidents of criminal damage and violence.’
    • ‘One act of violence against another is an act of violence against one's self.’
    • ‘The most serious incidents include criminal damage and violence against people.’
    • ‘Family violence is one of the most insidious forms of violence against women.’
    • ‘More people were killed in political violence in those four years, than in the previous thirty.’
    brutality, brute force, roughness, ferocity, fierceness, savagery, cruelty, sadism, barbarity, barbarousness, brutishness, murderousness, bloodthirstiness, ruthlessness, inhumanity, heartlessness, pitilessness, mercilessness
    forcefulness, force, full force, power, powerfulness, strength, might, savagery, ferocity, brutality, destructiveness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.
      ‘the violence of her own feelings’
      • ‘No blood is spilled in the book - but its emotional violence is devastating.’
      • ‘Alarmed by the violence of her sorrow and by being a witness to it, but impatient with the sorrow itself, Ray was a poor pacifier.’
      • ‘The violence of the wind had lessened - though the air remained redolent with the smell of dust.’
      intensity, severity, strength, force, great force, vehemence, powerfulness, power, potency, ferocity, forcefulness, wildness, frenziedness, fury, storminess, tempestuousness, turbulence
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
      • ‘With two exceptions, actual violence by the deceased upon the accused was required.’
      • ‘I would like to say a word or two about those who use violence and intimidation to try and stop testing.’
      • ‘That is the level of violence that deserves the sentence that was imposed in this case.’
      • ‘Implicit in that was a threat to use violence if the bailiff went ahead.’
      • ‘In other words the receipt of the letter led him to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used.’
      • ‘Another tenant in the property was also causing a large amount of problems including acts of violence.’
      • ‘Well the whole history of the relevance of violence in Family Law is an interesting one.’
      • ‘The claimant and his family have been the victims of violence and discrimination in one town.’
      • ‘Each of the people who uses or threatens unlawful violence will be guilty of the offence.’
      • ‘If they enforced contracts by violence they were supplying a deficiency of commercial law.’
      • ‘That leaves the question of how immediate or imminent the threatened violence needs to be.’
      • ‘The fact on which he now relies is that though he stole, he did not in fact threaten violence.’
      • ‘She claims that she acted in self defence following domestic violence when he threatened her with the gun.’
      • ‘They are subject to family violence at home and sexual harassment in the work place.’
      • ‘The deceased's use of violence was not premeditated and he had no intention to kill.’
      • ‘It is not suggested by the appellant that he was threatened with violence in 1985.’
      • ‘So that it was not as if she was trying to escape from an immediate threat of violence to her.’
      • ‘He was alleged to have forced the complainant by violence or threats to engage in sexual activity with him.’
      • ‘The appellant had no record for offences of violence or of a sexual nature.’
      • ‘He charges him with a wicked deed of violence to be punished by death, or in the twelfth century by mutilation.’

Phrases

  • do violence to

    • Damage or adversely affect.

      • ‘To fail to follow this rule is to do violence to the positions of the king and queen.’
      • ‘These are chance events, in that they could have been different without doing violence to the laws of Nature.’
      • ‘A temperance newspaper proclaimed, typically, that ‘[n]o man can drink intoxicating liquors… without doing violence to his manhood.’’
      • ‘At times the attempt to draw literal, historical analogies does violence to Stevensian irony.’
      • ‘I'd agree with reviewers who say that to summarise or comment on the plot is simply to do violence to the work.’
      • ‘We have to choose knowing that when we are violent to our enemies, we do violence to ourselves.’
      • ‘He certainly looked like he would like to do violence to Peters at that point.’
      • ‘If one tries to categorize commercial agricultural production or wage labor activity solely as resistance, one does violence to more than language.’
      • ‘Six wives said their husbands had threatened to do violence to their children or to their parents and five had been threatened by their husbands with lethal weapons.’
      • ‘And, at every step, those doing violence to the system were claiming that they were defending it.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin violentia, from violent- ‘vehement, violent’ (see violent).

Pronunciation

violence

/ˈvī(ə)ləns//ˈvaɪ(ə)ləns/