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

Some directors welcomed the new voice, even if Garden could prove abrasive at times, while others on the board were blunt in declaring their distaste for him. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Fact is, Warren comes off as stern, abrasive and unfriendly. James Freeman, WSJ, "Gender, Likability and Opportunity," 7 Jan. 2019 Also, skip abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, and steel wool. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Laminate Floors (Without Ruining Them)," 28 Mar. 2019 Its abrasive texture is perfect for scrubbing things that can be hard to clean, like grout or a dirty oven. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "11 Surprising Ways to Use Your Baking Soda," 6 Mar. 2019 Then scrub with a non-abrasive sponge and wipe dry. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean an Oven Quickly and Painlessly," 18 Dec. 2018 Matt is reserved and timid, while the digital version of Joyce is abrasive and continually pushes all of his buttons. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "My Dead Wife, the Robot Car is a Black Mirror-equse podcast about autonomous cars," 21 Oct. 2018 The aggressive-cutting abrasive will quickly grind through the paint top coat. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Safely Remove Paint," 25 Jan. 2019 Use the spray for general cleaning, use the powder dissolved in hot water for high-strength cleaning, and use an abrasive paper such as 3M Sandblaster for sanding between paint coats or taking the shine off enameled surfaces. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The 4 Biggest Painting Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)," 16 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

28 May 2019

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 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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