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 Plant food can be abrasive, wearing down teeth quickly, and so herbivorous dinosaurs required a constantly renewed supply. Riley Black, Smithsonian, "Flesh-Ripping Dinosaurs Replaced Their Teeth Multiple Times a Year," 28 Nov. 2019 And some of those personal stories highlight Kasich’s unique and sometimes abrasive personality, a frenetic mix of wide-ranging curiosity and concern for the human condition and a disregard for social mores. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "John Kasich’s latest book includes some very John Kasich-y stories," 4 Nov. 2019 The nut shell doesn’t go to waste being used in several industries including an abrasive for cleaning and polishing, in water filtration systems, for oil well drilling, as outdoor turf fields and in cosmetics, among others. Claire Perez, sun-sentinel.com, "Black walnut pie a harvest of unique flavors," 20 Sep. 2019 Social media can often be an abrasive place, especially in a year dominated by whiplash-inducing political turbulence. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The 10 Best Memes of 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't work in the same way, his softer style on management is far less abrasive than his predecessor, but Wenger was always heralded for taking the blame away from his stars in a noble effort to protect them from the media. SI.com, "8 Reasons Why Arsene Wenger Managing Man Utd Would Be Football's Dream – Even if it's Not His," 26 Sep. 2019 Unlike a traditional microfiber cloth, which can be abrasive to the skin, the MakeUp Eraser has millions of tiny hairlike fibers that work together to suction and remove makeup. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "Demi Moore Swears by the MakeUp Eraser for Her Anti-Aging Skincare Routine," 20 Sep. 2019 But his touch is so gentle that the sound is not abrasive enough. SI.com, "90min's Premier League Hall of Fame: Class of 2010," 22 Oct. 2019 The latter are often loyal to Alex Salmond, who led the party for most of the time between 1990 and 2014, and whose approach to politics was considerably more abrasive and divisive than Ms Sturgeon’s. The Economist, "Another Scottish referendum beckons—and this time the nationalists may win," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abrasive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abrasiveness. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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