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1

abuse

play
noun \ə-ˈbyüs\

Definition of abuse

  1. 1 :  a corrupt practice or custom

  2. 2 :  improper or excessive use or treatment :  misuse <drug abuse>

  3. 3 obsolete :  a deceitful act :  deception

  4. 4 :  language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily

  5. 5 :  physical maltreatment



Examples of abuse in a sentence

  1. He subjected his wife to physical and emotional abuse.

  2. the buying of votes and other election abuses

  3. She was subjected to every term of abuse her boss could think of.

  4. a torrent of verbal abuse

  5. The prisoner hurled abuse at the judge.



Origin and Etymology of abuse

Middle English, from Middle French abus, from Latin abusus, from abuti to consume, from ab- + uti to use


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of abuse

abuse, vituperation, invective, obloquy, billingsgate mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval. abuse, the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language <scathing verbal abuse>. vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse <a torrent of vituperation>. invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation <blistering political invective>. obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace <subjected to obloquy and derision>. billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse <directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver>.

2

abuse

play
verb \ə-ˈbyüz\

Simple Definition of abuse

  • : to treat (a person or animal) in a harsh or harmful way

  • : to use or treat (something) in a way that causes damage

  • : to use (something) wrongly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of abuse

abused

abusing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to put to a wrong or improper use <abuse a privilege> b :  to use excessively <abuse alcohol>; also :  to use without medical justification <abusing painkillers>

  3. 2 obsolete :  deceive

  4. 3 :  to use so as to injure or damage :  maltreat

  5. 4 :  to attack in words :  revile

abusable

play \-ˈbyü-zə-bəl\ adjective

abuser

noun

Examples of abuse in a sentence

  1. He was accused of sexually abusing a child.

  2. He abused his body with years of heavy drinking.

  3. He had abused his first car by not taking care of it.

  4. She abused her friend's trust.

  5. a senator who abuses his power

  6. He abused my confidence by letting this secret be known.



15th Century

First Known Use of abuse

15th century



ABUSE Defined for Kids

1

abuse

play
noun \ə-ˈbyüs\

Definition of abuse for Students

  1. 1 :  wrong or unfair treatment or use <abuse of power>

  2. 2 :  the act or practice of improperly using or of using in harmful amounts <drug abuse>

  3. 3 :  harmful treatment of a person or an animal

  4. 4 :  harsh insulting language <“Never a kind word for old Templeton, only abuse and wisecracks …” — E. B. White, Charlotte's Web>

  5. 5 :  a dishonest practice <election abuses>




2

abuse

play
verb \ə-ˈbyüz\

Definition of abuse for Students

abused

abusing

  1. 1 :  to treat in a cruel or harmful way <abuse an animal>

  2. 2 :  to use wrongly :  misuse <abuse privileges>

  3. 3 :  to use improperly or in harmful amounts <abuse drugs>

  4. 4 :  to blame or scold rudely




Medical Dictionary

1

abuse

play
noun \ə-ˈbyüs\

Medical Definition of abuse

  1. 1:  improper or excessive use or treatment <drug abuse> <long-term abuse of tranquilizers>

  2. 2:  physical maltreatment: asa:  the act of violating sexually :  rapebunder some statutes :  rape or indecent assault not amounting to rape




2

abuse

play
transitive verb \ə-ˈbyüz\

Medical Definition of abuse

abused

;

abusing

  1. 1:  to use excessively <abuse alcohol>; also :  to use without medical justification <abusing painkillers>

  2. 2:  to treat so as to injure or damage <abuse a child>

  3. 3a:  masturbateb:  to subject to abuse and especially to rape or indecent assault

abusable

\-ˈbyü-zə-bəl\play adjective

abuser

noun



Law Dictionary

1

abuse

play
transitive verb \ə-ˈbyüz\

Legal Definition of abuse

abused

abusing

  1. 1 :  to put to a use other than the one intended: as a :  to put to a bad or unfair use <abusing the powers of office> b :  to put to improper or excessive use <abuse narcotics>

  2. 2a :  to inflict physical or emotional mistreatment or injury on (as one's child) purposely or through negligence or neglect and often on a regular basis b :  to engage in sexual activity with (a child under an age specified by statute)

  3. 3 :  to attack harshly with words <abuse a police officer> <abuse a debtor>

abuser

noun



2

abuse

play
noun \ə-ˈbyüs\

Legal Definition of abuse

  1. 1 :  improper, unfair, or excessive use <abuse of authority> <drug abuse>

  2. 2a :  the infliction of physical or emotional injury; also :  the crime of inflicting such injury — see also battered child syndrome, battered woman's syndrome — compare cruelty, neglect b :  sexual abuse

  3. 3 :  a verbal attack (as on a police officer in the performance of his or her duty); also :  the crime of making such an attack





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