invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation.
blistering political invective
obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace.
subjected to obloquy and derision
billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse.
directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver
Examples of abuse in a Sentence
He subjected his wife to physical and emotional abuse.
the buying of votes and other election abuses
She was subjected to every term of abuse her boss could think of.
a torrent of verbal abuse
The prisoner hurled abuse at the judge. Verb
He was accused of sexually abusing a child.
He abused his body with years of heavy drinking.
He had abused his first car by not taking care of it.
She abused her friend's trust.
a senator who abuses his power
He abused my confidence by letting this secret be known. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Global sanctions and regulations often highlight not just the potential for hostile action by a foreign regime, but a track record of human rights abuses and other offenses.—Fredrik Nilsson, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Such erroneous ideas contribute to higher rates of maternal mortality in childbirth and rates of medical abuse and negligence.—De-Shaine Murray, STAT, 29 Nov. 2023 Despite the abuse allegations made against Jeremy, he has not been convicted of a crime.—James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 Rinehart’s forthcoming about how dire things were in the group — overzealous egos and substance abuse both played a role — and the darkness that consumed a band that first started in the Christian music world.—Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 28 Nov. 2023 Through interviews with actors, writers and others in the industry, Ryan doggedly pursues the question of why, after the much-vaunted #MeToo campaign, bad antics and toxic abuses continue behind the scenes at popular television shows.—Beth Py-Lieberman, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 The agreement is non-binding and carries mostly general recommendations such as monitoring AI systems for abuse, protecting data from tampering and vetting software suppliers.—Reuters, NBC News, 27 Nov. 2023 Palmer asked the court for full physical and legal custody of Leo, detailing multiple allegations of physical abuse in the filing, according to documents reviewed by PEOPLE.—Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 27 Nov. 2023 ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.—Danelle Morton, ProPublica, 18 Nov. 2023
Less positive, but still healthy majorities, said they had not been called a racial or ethnic slur (77%) or verbally harassed or abused (76%).—Karlyn Bowman, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Variety previously reported that some of Majors’ former romantic partners who were allegedly abused by him were cooperating with the DA’s case.—Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 28 Nov. 2023 This feature works slightly differently from a similar Apple feature called AirDrop that terrible people sometimes abuse to send profane photographs to strangers nearby.—Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023 The Act provided a one-year window to abuse victims to file beyond the statute of limitations, allowing those who were at least 18 years old to seek justice in their respective cases.—Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Through their investigation, police determined that Zakrzewski had abused multiple boys from Jan. 1, 2014 to May 17, 2019.—Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 Cassie, a singer and entertainer whose full name is Cassandra Ventura, alleged in a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in New York City that Combs raped and physically abused her — including punching, beating, kicking and stomping on her — over the course of their relationship.—Rebecca Cohen, NBC News, 17 Nov. 2023 The new movie sporadically escapes into joy with its musical numbers, which allow the viewer to track Celie’s emotional journey without being overwhelmed by her horrific traumas, including being raped by her father, abused by her husband and separated from her sister and children.—Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Cassie, a singer and entertainer whose full name is Cassandra Ventura, alleged in a complaint filed Thursday that Combs raped and physically abused her — including punching, beating, kicking and stomping on her — over the course of their relationship.—Saba Hamedy, NBC News, 18 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abuse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin abūsus "misuse, waste," noun derivative from abūtī "to exhaust, use up, misuse," from ab-ab- + ūtī "to use entry 1"
Middle English abusen, borrowed from Anglo-French abuser, verbal derivative of abuseabuse entry 1