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 To protect the non-stick coating from scratches, never use metal utensils or other abrasive tools to clean your air fryer parts. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Clean Your Air Fryer to Remove Baked-On Food and Grease," 8 Sep. 2020 During a press conference on the evening of Lam’s arrest, Chan Tin-chu, a senior police official, launched into an abrasive, lengthy reimaging of the Yuen Long attack. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "How History Gets Rewritten," 8 Sep. 2020 As an antidote to Ms. Lefevre’s guileless Maggie and her seemingly happy, peppy neighboring New Zealanders, Esther couldn’t be more hilariously abrasive, recoiling from geniality, repulsed by a smile. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Sounds’ Review: Crime, Sabotage and Sweeping Seascapes," 2 Sep. 2020 Her stories would follow an effort by organizers throughout the convention to try to portray a softer side of a president known for his abrasive and blunt demeanor. Michelle L. Price, chicagotribune.com, "RNC updates: Trump has been there all week but takes center stage tonight at Republican National Convention," 27 Aug. 2020 Nature sounds like running water, rain and waves all sound realistic but not abrasive. Ellen Mcalpine, CNN Underscored, "The Restflix sleep app packages calming audio and serene videos to lull you to sleep," 25 Aug. 2020 Her stories would follow an effort by organizers throughout the convention to try to portray a softer side of a president known for his abrasive and blunt demeanor. Michelle L. Price, Star Tribune, "WHAT TO WATCH: Trump's moment, Ivanka and Rudy Giuliani," 26 Aug. 2020 However, Rapinchuk favors using a different abrasive agent for scrubbing. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Grapefruit and Sugar Are the Secret Cleaning Ingredients to a Sparkling Bathtub," 19 Aug. 2020 Democrats are angling to catch the votes of Republicans who are turned off by the president's abrasive behavior, trying to make a moral case for a Biden presidency. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Making room for Republicans at Democratic National Convention," 19 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Stubborn marks may need a gentle abrasive that won't scratch off paint finishes. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Clean Walls," 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, "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

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

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abrasive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abrasive. Accessed 23 Sep. 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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