Definition of violent in English:

violent

adjective

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

    ‘a violent confrontation with riot police’
    • ‘At one point, things threatened to turn violent, but police arrived and calmed the volatile situation down.’
    • ‘He began to turn violent against my mum, smashing up the house and threatening her.’
    • ‘Not because he might turn violent - he has never been violent towards me - but he often conceals things from me.’
    • ‘Up to two security guards will be on hand to protect doctors in case patients with a history of aggression turn violent.’
    • ‘The neighbour said they were all worried he would flip and turn violent.’
    • ‘Extra security staff will be on call when a GP thinks a patient could turn violent.’
    • ‘She carries a small wooden truncheon tucked up her sleeve in case her customers turn violent.’
    • ‘Saboteurs have pledged to disrupt hunts over Christmas and predict they will turn violent.’
    • ‘While the overwhelming majority aim to be peaceful there are fears that some protests may turn violent.’
    • ‘It's just the room full of drunks are more likely to turn violent.’
    • ‘Somehow I received a stronger dose of a drug than was necessary, provoking an instant and violent physical reaction.’
    • ‘The inquest heard she was subjected to ‘a number of violent physical assaults’.’
    • ‘Boxing, with all its physical and violent dimensions, is considered a man's sport.’
    • ‘This new workers' organisation was forced into violent confrontation with the state.’
    • ‘The convictions are for offences ranging from violent assault to criminal damage.’
    • ‘I've watched violent films, read about murderers and I think I'm a pretty normal person.’
    • ‘Part four contains six short strident emotive poems while part five has an allegorical poem on violent death.’
    • ‘Really, it's amazing that more people don't die violent deaths at the hands of their roommates.’
    • ‘As well as looking into unexpected or violent deaths in their district, the coroner inquires into finds of treasure.’
    • ‘He added that they were reviewing violent deaths over the past few months to see if there might be connections.’
    brutal, vicious, savage, harsh, rough, aggressive, bullying, threatening, terrorizing, fierce, wild, intemperate, hot-headed, hot-tempered, bloodthirsty, ferocious, berserk, frenzied
    powerful, forceful, hard, sharp, smart, strong, vigorous, mighty, hefty, harsh, thunderous, savage, ferocious, fierce, brutal, vicious, destructive, damaging, painful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law Involving an unlawful exercise or exhibition of force.
      • ‘Three of the defendants pleaded guilty to violent disorder last week.’
      • ‘The plaintiff was a man with a history of mental disorder and seriously violent behaviour.’
      • ‘Indulge in music, sex, dance, exercise, violent video games, bright lights, whatever.’
      • ‘The training patrol turned out be a challenging exercise due to a violent dust storm.’
      • ‘Tphysically assaulted a member of staff in a violent and uncontrolled manner.’
      • ‘I have to do these violent vocal exercises to get it kind of oiled up and moving.’
      • ‘The applicants were involved in a protest which had led to a violent disturbance.’
      • ‘This was a short, violent incident during much of which the deceased was, it seems, struggling vigorously.’
      • ‘It is facile to attribute the increase in violent crime during this period to the moratorium on executions.’
      • ‘Thelma has several drug-related convictions and is awaiting trial on a charge of violent disorder.’
      • ‘His client had earlier pleaded guilty to violent disorder and taking a vehicle without consent.’
      • ‘It is still more appalling that they were responsible for violent and shameful abuses.’
      • ‘They saw their father as a more violent disciplinarian than their mother.’
      • ‘There have been violent and, tragically, fatal incidents in the past.’
      • ‘The immediate aftermath was a series of violent and damaging strikes.’
      • ‘If a person has an unusually volatile, excitable or violent nature [or is drunk] he cannot rely on that as an excuse.’
      • ‘Governments sometimes changed quickly with the all too often violent overthrow of the regime in power.’
      • ‘This shows that violent sabotage is by no means unknown in the passenger ferry industry.’
      • ‘He has been involved in serious and violent offending over a prolonged period of time.’
      • ‘The area in which the family live is a violent one with drugs and alcohol abuse prevalent.’
  • 2(especially of an emotion or a destructive natural force) very strong or powerful.

    ‘violent dislike’
    ‘the violent eruption killed 1,700 people’
    • ‘Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity, ranging from mild irritation to violent rage.’
    • ‘But as their relationship developed, it became clear he had an alcohol problem which set off a violent temper.’
    • ‘No other individual currently on our screens and in our tabloids can solicit such violent hatred from my otherwise amiable self.’
    • ‘If everything was not perfect, he could fly into a violent rage.’
    • ‘As a result of his injuries, Karl suffered violent mood swings, and spent the next 15 years in hospital care.’
    • ‘Perhaps using computer games like these to express violent impulses makes for a happier, healthier society.’
    • ‘This in turn has led to violent resentment on the part of those left out.’
    • ‘A guidance counsellor suggested he channel his violent energies into drama.’
    • ‘In National, party presidents are despised on principle, and with a violent passion.’
    • ‘The most violent impulses of young soldiers have been played upon and promoted.’
    • ‘He projected his own violent moods on to the canvas in red and green.’
    • ‘I bent over to pick her up, but with a sudden spasm of violent energy she angrily pushed herself off.’
    • ‘Arnold ploughed his violent ambition into his own body by working out constantly.’
    • ‘Cinaed leaned down slightly for his yell to be heard over the violent force of the storm.’
    • ‘What would make them turn to such violent and destructive actions to destroy their own country.’
    • ‘Somehow I just love those violent eruptions in the sky and the ensuing downpour of torrential rain.’
    • ‘A woman driver was thrown to the ground in a violent road rage attack on Tuesday morning.’
    • ‘The most violent volcanoes occur at destructive plate margins, where one plate is consuming another.’
    • ‘The violent movement produces powerful shockwaves traveling at the speed of sound.’
    • ‘In these situations jealousy can seem like a logical reaction to an emotionally violent incident.’
    intense, extreme, strong, powerful, forceful, great, vehement, wild, frenzied, raging, riotous, rampaging, rampant, out of control, stormy, tempestuous, turbulent, tumultuous, intemperate, uncontrolled, unrestrained, uncurbed, unchecked, unbridled, unfettered, uncontrollable, unmanageable, ungovernable, inordinate, excessive, consuming, passionate, overwhelming, immoderate
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of a colour) vivid.
      ‘violent fiery colours’
      • ‘Van Gogh expressed psychological turmoil through expressionist contrasts of violent colour.’
      • ‘He was covered from head to toe in violent pink paint.’
      • ‘Well Dave, it could be a trick of the light, but it looks like you are developing a "island gut" under that violent orange shirt’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘having a marked or powerful effect’): via Old French from Latin violent- ‘vehement, violent’.

Pronunciation

violent

/ˈvʌɪəl(ə)nt/