Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Causing or intending to cause damage, injury, or death, often when involving great force.
  • adjective Characterized by or displaying physical violence.
  • adjective Caused by unexpected force or injury rather than by natural causes.
  • adjective Given to physical violence.
  • adjective Very forceful.
  • adjective Intense or extreme, especially in emotion.
  • adjective Characterized by extreme emotion, especially anger.
  • adjective Vivid, as in brightness or saturation.
  • adjective Tending to distort meaning or intent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Characterized by strong and sudden physical force; impetuous; furious.
  • Produced, effected, or continued by force; accompanied by extraneous or unnatural force; unnatural.
  • Acting or produced by unlawful, unjust, or improper force; characterized by force or violence unlawfully exercised; rough; outrageous; not authorized.
  • Vehement mentally, or springing from such vehemence; fierce; passionate; furious.
  • In general, intense in any respect; extreme: as, a violent contrast; especially, of pain, acute.
  • Compelled; compulsory; not voluntary.
  • Poignant, exquisite.
  • noun One acting with violence.
  • To urge with violence.
  • To act or work with violence; be violent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Moving or acting with physical strength; urged or impelled with force; excited by strong feeling or passion; forcible; vehement; impetuous; fierce; furious; severe
  • adjective Acting, characterized, or produced by unjust or improper force; outrageous; unauthorized.
  • adjective Produced or effected by force; not spontaneous; unnatural; abnormal.
  • adjective (Law) presumption of a fact that arises from proof of circumstances which necessarily attend such facts.
  • adjective (Scots Law) rents or profits of an estate obtained by a tenant wrongfully holding over after warning. They are recoverable in a process of removing.
  • noun obsolete An assailant.
  • transitive verb obsolete To urge with violence.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To be violent; to act violently.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Involving extreme force or motion.
  • adjective Involving physical conflict.
  • adjective Likely to use physical force.
  • adjective Intensely vivid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective acting with or marked by or resulting from great force or energy or emotional intensity
  • adjective (of colors or sounds) intensely vivid or loud
  • adjective marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid
  • adjective characterized by violence or bloodshed
  • adjective effected by force or injury rather than natural causes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin violentus, from vīs, vi-, force; see weiə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French violent, from Latin violentus, from vīs ("strength").

Examples

  • I think the speaker used the term violent, did violence to what you're trying to accomplish in the House.

    CNN Transcript Feb 8, 2009

  • Beijing, wary of instability and the threat to the Communist Party's grip on power, often blames what it calls violent separatist groups in Xinjiang for attacks on police or other government targets.

    China sentences four to death for Xinjiang violence

  • Beijing, wary of instability and the threat to the Communist Party's grip on power, often blames what it calls violent separatist groups in Xinjiang for attacks on police or other government targets.

    China sentences four to death for Xinjiang violence

  • But opposition parties and human-rights groups complain the likely victory of the ruling party is tainted by what they call a violent crackdown on supporters and party members.

    EU Finds Fault With Ethiopia Ballot

  • Significantly, he never used the word terrorism, but he hit hard on what he called violent extremism and its consequences.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2009

  • Let's remember that what you call a violent past, that was at a time when thousands of people were being murdered by our government every month, and those of us who fought to end that war were actually on the right side.

    CNN Transcript Nov 14, 2008

  • "There is ample fact -- and we also have plenty of evidence -- proving that this incident was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said today, in denouncing the Dalai Lama's supporters as instigators of what he described as violent protests that rocked the region in recent days.

    What They Are Saying

  • Let's remember that what you call a violent past, that was at a time when thousands of people were being murdered by our government every month.

    CNN Transcript Nov 14, 2008

  • The FBI is now looking into what it calls a violent case of domestic terrorism.

    CNN Transcript Aug 4, 2008

  • Mugabe has lashed out at Western support for what he called violent opposition activists and told his growing number of critics to "go hang."

    ANC Daily News Briefing

Comments

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  • 'These violent delights have violent ends

    And in their triumph die, like fire and powder

    Which, as they kiss, consume.'

    -Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

    February 20, 2008