1

abrasive

play
adjective abra·sive \ ə-ˈbrā-siv , -ziv \

Definition of abrasive

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

abrasively

adverb

abrasiveness

noun

abrasive was our Word of the Day on 04/02/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abrasive in a Sentence

  1. The waves had an abrasive action on the rocks.

  2. an abrasive display of rude behavior

Recent Examples of abrasive from the Web

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.

abrasive Has Latin Roots

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."

Origin and Etymology of abrasive

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


2

abrasive

noun

Definition of abrasive

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

Recent Examples of abrasive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of abrasive

derivative of 1abrasive

Other Hardware Terms


ABRASIVE Defined for Kids

1

abrasive

play
noun abra·sive \ ə-ˈbrā-siv \

Definition of abrasive for Students

:a substance for grinding, smoothing, or polishing

2

abrasive

adjective

Definition of abrasive for Students

1 :causing damage or wear by rubbing
2 :very unpleasant or irritating
  • an abrasive voice

Medical Dictionary

1

abrasive

play
adjective abra·sive \ ə-ˈbrā-siv , -ziv \

medical Definition of abrasive

:tending to abrade
  • an abrasive substance

abrasiveness

noun

2

abrasive

noun

medical Definition of abrasive

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


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