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 An abrasive such as Barkeepers Friend can help remove caked-on food and some stains. Becky Krystal, chicagotribune.com, "How to pick, care for and cook in your Dutch oven," 11 Oct. 2019 An abrasive such as Barkeepers Friend can help remove caked-on food and some stains. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "How to pick, care for and cook in your Dutch oven, the one pot every home cook should own," 11 Oct. 2019 The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends avoiding alcohol in cleansers that can be abrasive to skin. Chelsea Hall, Marie Claire, "The Correct Way to Wash Your Face, According to Experts," 8 Apr. 2020 Garbage disposal: Shake in deodorizing baking soda, which is mildly abrasive and counteracts smelly acids poured down the drain. oregonlive, "How to sanitize upholstery and home surfaces without damaging them in a coronavirus clean," 20 Mar. 2020 For super-sharp knives and cooking knives, most chefs agree hand-washing is best (dishwasher detergents are quite abrasive). Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Load a Dishwasher the Right Way, Once and for All," 6 Mar. 2020 But cleaning the screen is more delicate than wiping down the rest of your laptop; some cleaners can be abrasive, and using too much liquid could cause your laptop and monitor to short altogether. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean and Disinfect Your Laptop Screen," 13 Mar. 2020 This version of Jason was headstrong and abrasive and was hated by fans. George Gene Gustines, New York Times, "Batman and His Many Robins," 5 Mar. 2020 His abrasive personality hurt him in negotiations with teachers’ unions and in the implementation of work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Why Candidates Matter Most," 23 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "The Best Whitening Toothpaste, According to Experts," 22 Apr. 2020 Though Clorox wipes are okay to use, Apple still advises against using bleach, aerosol sprays, and abrasives. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "You Can Clean Your Phone with Clorox Wipes, Apple Says," 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, "Unique state-owned prospect a highlight as spending on Alaska mineral exploration rebounds," 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, "How to Clean A Glass Cooktop so it Looks Brand New Again," 30 Apr. 2019 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

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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Statistics for abrasive

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abrasive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abrasive. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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

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