abusive

adjective
abu·​sive | \ ə-ˈbyü-siv also -ziv How to pronounce abusive (audio) \

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

They were addicted to drugs or alcohol, grew up in dysfunctional families, survived traumas like shootings or abusive relationships. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Students who beat steep odds credit Washington educators who wouldn’t give up on them," 4 Feb. 2019 The increasingly aggressive and abusive Chinese government poses a significant danger, but the free world should not be cowed. Maya Wang, WSJ, "China’s Bumbling Police State," 26 Dec. 2018 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says in its own lawsuit the practices are unfair, deceptive and abusive and break federal consumer protection laws. Ken Sweet, The Seattle Times, "AP Exclusive: Gov’t questions unfair student loan practices," 21 Nov. 2018 On Saturday, death-defying stunt man and magician DAVID BLAINE heads to Detroit for a Fox Theatre show that’s hopefully a bit less abusive and painful. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Plan your weekend: Rib Fest; magic of David Blaine; art in Ferndale, Wyandotte," 5 July 2018 Other cheerleaders were also purportedly threatened with these same abusive and degrading practices. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "NFL Teams Previously Have Settled in Cheerleader Lawsuits. Will Texans' Ex-Cheerleaders Set Different Precedent?," 25 June 2018 Janczak became aggressive and verbally abusive and chest-bumped Blankenheim, the complaint said. Henry J. Morgan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man charged with felony battery after allegedly head-butting a Lannon building inspector," 22 June 2018 Depp claims his mother was abusive and moved his family 40 times. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "10 Things We Learned From Johnny Depp's Revealing 'Rolling Stone' Interview," 22 June 2018 Tori Fugate, director of marketing for the KC Pet Project, said the organization receives about 30 new animals every day, and four or five of those animals have been through abusive or neglectful situations, or have extensive injuries. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "He kicked a cat as someone yelled 'field goal' in video. City wants help finding him," 19 June 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

21 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce abusive (audio) , -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 How to pronounce abusive (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on abusive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abusive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abusive

Spanish Central: Translation of abusive

Nglish: Translation of abusive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abusive for Arabic Speakers

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