Definition of violate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement)

    ‘they violated the terms of a ceasefire’
    • ‘Anyone who violates the rule is liable to lawsuits or may even jeopardize his or her position.’
    • ‘Anyone who violated laws against the practice of cloning should face sanctions, he added.’
    • ‘‘Action has to be taken against anyone violating the law,’ said the minister.’
    • ‘If the new rules violate the law, the courts will take care of that.’
    • ‘The law also rules that those who violate the law shall be punished with a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to 6 million won.’
    • ‘This speech may violate the law, rules a federal judge.’
    • ‘Also unlike current lawmakers, the first deputies faced huge fines of up to half their monthly salaries for missing a hearing without excuse or violating the rules on how to speak during a session.’
    • ‘Administrators believe the key to successful discipline is creating an environment in which students will come for help before they are caught violating some rule.’
    • ‘If anyone violates the law, they must face the consequences.’
    • ‘Executives and employees violating the rules could face penalties, the paper said.’
    • ‘He was the quintessential intellectual maverick - a man who thrived on bending the rules and violating the regulations.’
    • ‘The plantation owners, although willing to violate organisational rules in normal times, closed ranks in times of troubles.’
    • ‘Anyone caught violating the rules is subject to a $10,000 fine.’
    • ‘This is not going to be a good program for anyone who has deliberately violated the law.’
    • ‘Their rule of law is might makes right and that they can ignore, change or violate any rules or laws that are incompatible with their criminal activities.’
    • ‘Anyone violating these regulations is expected to face a legal process and punishment.’
    • ‘The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.’
    • ‘The power that sub-units wield in federations often restricts or violates majority rule, in ways that merit careful scrutiny.’
    • ‘In California, making an agreement to violate the law can be a misdemeanor - or a felony!’
    • ‘Anyone who violated this rule, whether man or animal, must not be allowed to live.’
    contravene, breach, commit a breach of, infringe, infract, break, transgress, overstep, not comply with, disobey, defy, flout, fly in the face of, rebel against
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    1. 1.1 Fail to respect (someone's peace, privacy, or rights)
      ‘they denied that human rights were being violated’
      • ‘They claimed it was unconstitutional because it violated their rights of liberty, privacy, gender equality, security of the person and equality before the law.’
      • ‘I always believe in the necessity, if not the virtue, of intervention when human rights are violated, when human life is at stake and when liberty is being curtailed.’
      • ‘Now they went into the house, and they basically violated liberty rights.’
      • ‘Drivers' rights are seen as synonymous with individual freedoms; challenging them akin to violating human rights.’
      • ‘She said, ‘they should not hold back out of a fear they might be violating human rights’.’
      • ‘He had successfully violated my rights to privacy.’
      • ‘The laws also endanger women's health, and violate privacy rights and the Equal Protection clause of the constitution.’
      • ‘My own human rights were violated only a few weeks ago.’
      • ‘To deny prisoners access to such magazines violates their human rights.’
      • ‘I can't wait until they start howling about their email address private property rights being violated.’
      • ‘Some lawyers said that the practice of asking customers to show a marriage certificate severely violated their human rights.’
      • ‘The court held correctly that these rights were violated both with respect to the children, and with respect to the private schools.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court has agreed to decide if swapping papers to correct them violates students' privacy rights.’
      • ‘The profile of perspective of how human rights being violated through the process of privatization is also expected.’
      • ‘Privacy advocates say that giving the government access to data held by commercial third parties violates constitutional privacy rights.’
      • ‘Such imbalances should be corrected but in manner that equally protects, not equally violates the privacy rights of men and women.’
      • ‘Another concern is ensuring that amateur video featuring people doesn't violate privacy rights.’
      • ‘He wants to go to court to denounce my government for violating his human rights.’
      • ‘Moreover, transforming this view into a legal ban, and imposing it on Jane Doe and other parents, would violate their Constitutional right to privacy.’
      • ‘They said the salary was unfair and violated human rights.’
      invade, intrude on, encroach on, impinge on, trespass on, obtrude on, break into, interfere with, disturb, disrupt, upset, shatter
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  • 2Treat (something sacred) with irreverence or disrespect.

    ‘he was accused of violating a tomb’
    • ‘Curious and willing, Oedipus asks how he can do this and appease the Eumenides, whose sacred grove he violated after first entering Colonus.’
    • ‘Extreme cases come from martyrs who choose death rather than violate principles which are sacred to them.’
    • ‘Orchard, apart from swearing at a Kenyan player, was also accused of violating the spirit of the game.’
    • ‘A promise has not been kept, something true and noble and sacred has been violated, spoiled; madness and death result.’
    • ‘By taking the lives of their children, along with their own, parents violate this sacred and most fundamental right of their children.’
    • ‘Some laws are so sacred that we must willingly die rather than violate them.’
    • ‘Fearing the tomb had been violated, she rushed back to arouse St Peter and St John who, after exploring the tomb, confirmed what she had told them.’
    • ‘All accused of violating the sacred space of the child are immediately assumed to be guilty.’
    • ‘She claimed that ‘sacred, hallowed turf’ had been violated and desecrated with no concern for those who lost friends and colleagues in a war in the defence of their country.’
    • ‘All should bear in mind an Egyptian curse on a tomb of the second millennium BC: ‘May he who violates my site and damages my grave or takes my body be reviled by the Ka of Re.’’
    • ‘‘What matters to us is to rid our countries of the aggressors, to confront those who attack us, who violate what we hold sacred, or steal our riches,’ he said.’
    • ‘Both corpse and monument are still there, whereas the tombs of other violated burials returned to St-Denis merely as museum displays.’
    • ‘I was immortal after all, but I knew I had violated some sacred order and that this part of the repercussions.’
    • ‘Other congregations avoid technology, feeling it violates the sacred space.’
    • ‘They violated the sacred trust that connects leader and follower.’
    • ‘Native American petitioners had argued that the project would seriously damage what they held sacred and therefore violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.’
    • ‘I believe the President has violated this sacred trust between the leaders and those of whom he was entrusted to lead.’
    • ‘Now this can be quite violating of certain sacred norms and traditions.’
    • ‘It is a space that has been reclaimed, sacred ground that has not been violated by occupation, a space of love, magic and fertility.’
    • ‘Even so, the Europeans were intruders, emerging by the score from their towering vessels, appearing and disappearing without warning, violating sacred sites.’
    desecrate, profane, treat sacrilegiously, treat with disrespect, blaspheme, defile, degrade, debase
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  • 3literary Rape or sexually assault (someone).

    • ‘It seemed to Crosse that her decomposition was relentlessly visible, that the rain was driving through her and out, violating her further even in death.’
    • ‘In the meantime, paedophiles and rapists are out in the community, doing what they do best, because raping, abusing, and violating women and children is all they know.’
    • ‘‘When the film came out I felt undressed, and not just because I was sexually violated,’ she says, toying with her fruit salad.’
    • ‘The idea of who wants what, where, and when sexually can be expressed without violating anyone and without getting anyone raped.’
    • ‘Yes, he violated me, but he did not rape me.’
    • ‘She shouldered a full waterskin, and a bundle of wrapped dried meat and flour, and stepped into the footsteps of the men who had violated her and murdered her lover.’
    • ‘All three husbands had been drunk when they violated their wives.’
    • ‘But what makes his otherwise inspiring story so troubling is that he is now violating young people in much the same way that he was violated.’
    • ‘Such wars reinforce the lesson that it is okay to kill, beat up and violate other people's partners and children, while it is not acceptable - at least in words - at home.’
    • ‘Every time he looked at her, he remembered how she violated him.’
    • ‘What mattered is only the fact that he was violated.’
    • ‘That she was back in his room with him touching her, hurting her, violating her.’
    • ‘I ran into the guy that violated me in the second grade.’
    • ‘He felt like he was violating her if he just pulled her top off.’
    • ‘We have all shed tears because we were violated.’
    • ‘A rapist would have violated her and left her on the forest bed, not caring whether she lived or died.’
    • ‘She then decided to join them and shortly after a few drinks the men forced her onto the bed, restraining her while each of the 13 delinquent youths violated her.’
    • ‘A man who wishes to insult another male can do it in no better way than by violating the women whom it is his duty to protect, thus showing him to be unable to defend them, and therefore pitiably weak.’
    • ‘After he finished violating her, he then ransacked the room stealing 1,000 baht in cash and other items before leaving.’
    • ‘And then came the really painful bit - recounting the tale once again, of how her own father violated her.’
    rape, indecently assault, sexually assault, assault, force oneself on, force, sexually abuse, abuse, molest, interfere with, seduce
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Late Middle English: from Latin violat- ‘treated violently’, from the verb violare.