1. Behavior or treatment in which physical force is exerted for the purpose of causing damage or injury: the violence of the rioters.
a. Intense force or great power, as in natural phenomena: the violence of a tornado.
b. Extreme or powerful emotion or expression: the violence of their tirades.
3. Distortion of meaning or intent: do violence to a text.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.