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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, impetuous can be defined succinctly as "without thought or reason; controlled by emotion rather than thought". However, violent is listed as a synonym, when violent seems to be relegated purely to emotions of malice or rage. Impetuous seems to encompass all emotions (can actions done out of sadness/sorrow be considered impetuous?), whereas violent is limited to a few related emotions.

Why are these two synonyms if the domains in which they are correct differ?

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    A second meaning of impetuous is Having or marked by violent force. Just because two words may share one meaning or usage does not mean they share all their other meanings and usages. – choster Oct 5 '13 at 1:50
  • I'd put "impetuous" more in the realm of "rash". For some reason, it even strikes me as carrying some connotations of "impish", probably because of the "imp" part. – Tyler James Young Oct 5 '13 at 3:14
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Impetuous implies sudden energy or speed.

"A bus with loosen breaks will go down a slope impetuously - without personal feeling"

Violent involves great strength (especially aggressively), or vehemence.

"His speech was violent - but the speaker didn't move"

The words are not synonymous.

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