abusive

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

Definition of abusive

1 a :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

abusively

adverb

abusiveness

noun

Examples of abusive in a Sentence

  1. The fans yelled abusive comments to the referee.

  2. protecting wives from abusive husbands

Recent Examples of abusive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 2abuse" + -īvus -ive


ABUSIVE Defined for Kids

abusive

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

Definition of abusive for Students

1 :using or involving harmful treatment
2 :using harsh insulting language
  • abusive comments

Law Dictionary

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

abusively

adverb


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