- When you drive 70 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is only 55 miles per hour, this is an example of a situation where you violate the speed limit.
- When you read someone's diary without permission, this is an example of when you violate his privacy.
- When a man forces a woman to have sex with him against her will, this is an example of when he violates her.
Violate is to fail to comply with a requirement or rule, to fail to respect someone's privacy or to fail to respect someone or something sacred.
transitive verb-·lat·ed, -·lat·ing
- to break (a law, rule, promise, etc.); fail to keep or observe; infringe on
- to commit a sexual assault on; often, specif., to rape (a woman)
- to desecrate or profane (something sacred)
- to break in upon; interrupt thoughtlessly; disturb: to violate someone's privacy
- to offend, insult, or outrage: to violate one's sense of decency
Origin of violateMiddle English violaten from Classical Latin violatus, past participle of violare, to use force or violence, akin to vis, force
transitive verbvi·o·lat·ed, vi·o·lat·ing, vi·o·lates
- To disregard or act in a manner that does not conform to (a law or promise, for example).
- To assault (a person) sexually.
- To do harm to (property or qualities considered sacred); desecrate or defile.
- To disturb rudely or improperly; interrupt: violated our privacy.
Origin of violateMiddle English violaten from Latin violāre violāt- from vīs vi- force ; see weiə- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present violates, present participle violating, simple past and past participle violated)