Briefly: circular word-formation

Caught in an episode of CSI: NY a little while ago: a parole officer talking about a parolee who missed his most recent meeting:

I didn’t violate him. I decided to cut him some slack.

That’s the transitive verb violate ‘cite for a violation’. Intended as cop-talk, I assume.

That looks like a (simple) back-formation from the noun violation. But of course violation is itself a derived noun based on, yes, violate ‘break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement)’ (NOAD2)

But the back-formation gives us a new sense of violate — actually, a new verb violate. So:

violate > violation > violate

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