abrasive

adjective
abra·​sive | \ə-ˈbrā-siv, -ziv\

Definition of abrasive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : causing damage, wear, or removal of surface material by grinding or rubbing : tending to abrade abrasive compounds for whitening teeth an abrasive surface

2 : causing irritation abrasive manners an abrasive personality

abrasive

noun

Definition of abrasive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (such as emery or pumice) used for abrading, smoothing, or polishing used an abrasive for polishing the rough stones

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Other Words from abrasive

Adjective

abrasively adverb
abrasiveness noun

Abrasive Has Latin Roots

Adjective

Once upon a time, English had two different but similarly derived words meaning "to wear down": abrade and abrase. However, in this fairy tale, only one of the two had a happy ending; while abrade remains a familiar word to modern English speakers, abrase has become quite rare. And yet, abrase lives on in its descendant abrasive, which was formed by combining the verb with the -ive suffix. Both of the verbs, and by extension abrasive, can be traced back to the Latin verb abradere, meaning "to scrape off." Abradere in turn is a combination of ab- and radere, meaning "to scrape."

Examples of abrasive in a Sentence

Adjective

The waves had an abrasive action on the rocks. an abrasive display of rude behavior

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Mononitrides are very hard and are sometimes used as abrasive material, said Victor Sharygin, a geologist at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy in Novosibirsk, Russia, and lead researcher on the discovery of uakitite. Kimberly Hickok, Fox News, "Mineral never seen on Earth found inside Russian meteorite," 2 Oct. 2018 Musk's abrasive management style and his refusal to listen to subordinates' concerns has likely contributed to high turnover among senior Tesla managers. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla is outgrowing Elon Musk," 29 Sep. 2018 His negotiating style with Germany and France has been abrasive. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Macron’s Faux Pas on Nationalism," 12 Nov. 2018 By infusing graphene, Inov-8 aims to extend the life of its outsoles in the most abrasive environments while maintaining exceptional grip. Cory Smith, Outside Online, "Inov-8 Launches G-Series Graphene-Infused Running Shoes," 28 June 2018 But Jackson's management style was abrasive at best, abusive at worst, according to Michael and other children, who complained of constant work and the loss of normal childhoods. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Reports: Joe Jackson, Michael's dad, in final stages of terminal cancer," 22 June 2018 Their debut album, Daddy, which arrived on June 15, confronts heteronormativity and conventions of gender expression alongside abrasive musicality. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "GRLwood Host Basement Rager in 'Bisexual' Video: Premiere," 13 July 2018 The result can be coarse, abrasive and a little bit brilliant. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "A Coarse, Cacophonous, Compelling 'Cabaret' In New Haven," 26 June 2018 In the days following the election, many U.S. media outlets and pundits have compared AMLO to Trump, pointing to his abrasive and pugilistic style, his political grudges, and his disdain for the Mexican media, bureaucracy, and supreme court. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "AMLO Isn’t Mexico’s Trump – Nor Is He Trump’s Natural Enemy," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The technique will also be used on electrical and electronic components, bearings, vehicle components, engine parts, pipes, tubing, hose and fittings, and hardware and abrasives. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Uses Plant DNA to Catch Counterfeit Parts," 21 Nov. 2016 Madrid ad agency espadaysantacruz put together a very slick film for 3M to show off 3M's new class of Cubitron II abrasives. Jake Swearingen, Popular Mechanics, "Watch What Happens When You Grind Away a Motorcycle's Engine," 25 July 2015 Primary microplastics include resin pellets that are melted down to manufacture plastic products—also known as nurdles—and microbeads added to products such as cosmetics, soaps, and toothpaste as abrasives. National Geographic, "Plastics Explained, From A to Z," 16 May 2018 Even non-whitening version often contain chemicals and abrasives that can make acne worse. Lauren Hubbard, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need To Know To Get Rid of Acne Once And For All," 8 Aug. 2017 Even non-whitening version often contain chemicals and abrasives that can make acne worse. Lauren Hubbard, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need To Know To Get Rid of Acne Once And For All," 8 Aug. 2017 In the meantime, consumers can protect themselves by being more conservative when using abrasives such as facial scrubs, or harsh products containing glycolic, salicylic or retinoic acid, Day said. Dennis Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Study highlights the ugly side of the beauty industry," 28 June 2017 About 15 percent of the most finely ground glass — which isn’t good for bottlemakers — will be sent to secondary markets for use in abrasives, large water filters and concrete coatings, Lair said. The Denver Post, "This new Colorado glass recycling plant can process 80,000 tons a year," 3 Mar. 2017 As the video above explains, today’s manufactured toothpastes have abrasives in them, too. National Geographic, "Making Toothpaste at Home, From Ancient Times to Today," 15 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abrasive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abrasive

Adjective

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abrasive

Adjective

Latin abrāsus, past participle of abrādere "to scrape off, abrade" + -ive

Noun

derivative of abrasive entry 1

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Statistics for abrasive

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abrasive

The first known use of abrasive was in 1601

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More Definitions for abrasive

abrasive

noun
abra·​sive | \ə-ˈbrā-siv \

Kids Definition of abrasive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance for grinding, smoothing, or polishing

abrasive

adjective

Kids Definition of abrasive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : causing damage or wear by rubbing

2 : very unpleasant or irritating an abrasive voice

abrasive

adjective
abra·​sive | \ə-ˈbrā-siv, -ziv \

Medical Definition of abrasive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: tending to abrade an abrasive substance

Other Words from abrasive

abrasiveness noun

abrasive

noun

Medical Definition of abrasive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (as emery or pumice) used for abrading, smoothing, or polishing

called also abradant

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