abusive

adjective
abu·​sive | \ə-ˈbyü-siv also -ziv \

Definition of abusive 

1a : using harsh, insulting language an angry and abusive crowd

b : harsh and insulting abusive language

c : using or involving physical violence or emotional cruelty abusive behavior an abusive husband an abusive relationship

2 : characterized by wrong or improper use or action especially : corrupt abusive financial practices

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Other Words from abusive

abusively adverb
abusiveness noun

Examples of abusive in a Sentence

The fans yelled abusive comments to the referee. protecting wives from abusive husbands

Recent Examples on the Web

Duncan was raised in Baltimore, bouncing between what defense attorneys describe as abusive and neglectful homes where he was exposed to lead paint. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "‘I was a poser,’ says young man caught with Islamic State propaganda and child porn," 6 July 2018 Jairom, 17, had fled an abusive home in Honduras and traveled through Mexico for a month, mostly by train, before he was detained crossing the Rio Grande. Michael Miller, Emma Brown And Aaron C. Davis, star-telegram, "Inside a former Walmart on the Texas-Mexico border that holds nearly 1,500 immigrant boys," 16 June 2018 Jairom, 17, had fled an abusive home in Honduras and traveled through Mexico for a month, mostly by train, before he was detained crossing the Rio Grande. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the US is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children," 14 June 2018 Jairom, 17, had fled an abusive home in Honduras and traveled through Mexico for a month, mostly by train, before he was detained crossing the Rio Grande. Michael E. Miller, Emma Brown And Aaron C. Davis, Houston Chronicle, "Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the US is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children," 14 June 2018 That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns about their safety; abusive homes and human traffickers are just two of the worries. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Did the Trump Administration Lose Immigrant Children?," 31 May 2018 Viewers see flashbacks of her as a child in an abusive home and then, as a college student, being victimized in a setting that involves alcohol. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "Why Chris Janson Wept When He Saw His New 'Drunk Girl' Music Video: 'This One Broke Me Down Quick'," 22 May 2018 Victims of domestic violence wouldn’t be financially trapped in abusive homes under a bill that unanimously passed the Georgia House of Representatives. Mark Niesse, ajc, "Domestic abuse victims could escape violent homes under Georgia bill," 9 Mar. 2018 More than 2,000 residents live here, including hundreds of children who were rescued from abusive homes. Nimrod Nir, Newsweek, "Welcome to Pyramiden, a Mysterious Soviet Ghost Town, Where I Was Imprisoned by Nature—and My Poor Judgment," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abusive.' 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 abusive

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for abusive

borrowed from Anglo-French abusif "misplaced, wrong, in error," borrowed from Late Latin abūsīvus "misused, catachrestic," from Latin abūsus, past participle of abūtī "to abuse entry 2" + -īvus -ive

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Statistics for abusive

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abusive

The first known use of abusive was in 1538

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More Definitions for abusive

abusive

adjective
abu·​sive | \ə-ˈbyü-siv, -ziv\

Kids Definition of abusive

1 : using or involving harmful treatment

2 : using harsh insulting language abusive comments

abusive

adjective
abu·​sive | \ə-ˈbyü-siv, -ziv \

Legal Definition of abusive 

1 : characterized by wrong or improper use or action abusive tax shelters

2 : inflicting verbal or physical abuse abusive parents

Other Words from abusive

abusively adverb

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Comments on abusive

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