abrasive

adjective
abra·​sive | \ ə-ˈbrā-siv How to pronounce abrasive (audio) , -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 The Indians had a game that night and tried to wait out the smoke for an hour, while the crowd sat in the stands, swaddled in the abrasive, weighted blanket of Planet Earth’s air. New York Times, 21 Sep. 2021 Grab a razor scraper or light abrasive pad and clear off the mating surface of both the housing and cover. Ben Wojdyla, Popular Mechanics, 20 Sep. 2021 Cleaners will range from mild solutions for small messes to more abrasive scrubbers and a powerful disinfectant. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 Offer sheets, rare as comets, are an abrasive tool. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Sep. 2021 Stainless-steel pans can stand up to a certain amount of scouring, but abrasive cleaning methods could damage your nonstick pans. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Sep. 2021 Of course, like most things, car horns eventually became used in rather abrasive ways. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Rinaudo’s abrasive persona brings out Anys’ sassy side. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 26 Aug. 2021 On the new version, Reznor shares lead vocal duties with Elfman over the dissonant, abrasive track. Justin Curto, Vulture, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that cleans surfaces without scratching. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, 17 Aug. 2021 The tool has three sides, each with a different abrasive that’s designed for dry sharpening. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, 23 Feb. 2021 While the abrasive also has a big impact, slow-speed air sanders tend to bog down on softer surfaces like wood. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, 12 Sep. 2020 Stubborn marks may need a gentle abrasive that won't scratch off paint finishes. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, 7 Aug. 2020 When using a whitening toothpaste, always be sure to apply it with a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to help counter the harsh abrasives in the paste that scrub off stains, says Sammadar. Brittany Loggins, Health.com, 22 Apr. 2020 Though Clorox wipes are okay to use, Apple still advises against using bleach, aerosol sprays, and abrasives. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, 10 Mar. 2020 Specifically, the multi-heavy mineral prospect consists of abrasives garne and epidote, and zircon, magnetite and gold. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Nov. 2019 The gentle abrasives in these formulas will help loosen stubborn residue that needs a bit of a nudge but isn’t totally welded onto your glass. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, 30 Apr. 2019

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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Time Traveler for abrasive

Time Traveler

The first known use of abrasive was in 1601

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Dictionary Entries Near abrasive

abrasion platform

abrasive

à bras ouverts

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Statistics for abrasive

Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abrasive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abrasive. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for abrasive

abrasive

noun
abra·​sive | \ ə-ˈbrā-siv How to pronounce abrasive (audio) \

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 How to pronounce abrasive (audio) , -ziv How to pronounce abrasive (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on abrasive

Nglish: Translation of abrasive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abrasive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abrasive

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