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

Shepherd was fired for punching a 23-year-old woman who was intoxicated and verbally and physically abusive during her arrest outside the home of a Seattle man whose mother had called the police on June 22, 2014. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Defending police reforms, Seattle tells federal judge that reinstatement of officer who punched woman is an ‘outlier’," 19 Dec. 2018 Tim Berners-Lee, English scientist and father of the Web, has been making headlines recently with a proposal for a nicer, less-abusive internet where personal data is protected and misinformation is snuffed out. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Tim Berners-Lee Wants a 'Magna Carta' to Save the Modern Internet. He's Way Too Late.," 8 Nov. 2018 This week, the company said that roughly half of these unwanted experiences include these abusive ads, justifying the crackdown. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Google's Chrome 71 will block 'abusive' ads that trick you into clicking them," 6 Nov. 2018 Being too much of a Chatty Cathy can be an annoyance, and people speak of rude, or worse—abusive—encounters with fellow passengers, too. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Talking to Someone on a Plane Can Change Your Life," 5 Oct. 2018 This causes him to develop an Obscurus, a parasitic dark force that bursts out of him, killing his abusive adopted mother and wreaking havoc on NYC. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "This Link Between “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” Will Seriously Blow Your Mind," 23 Aug. 2018 Linus Torvalds apologized for abusive behavior toward programmers. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Two Contagious Behaviors of a Great Boss," 22 Sep. 2018 His decision came after The New Yorker asked a series of questions for a story about his abusive behavior discouraging women from working as Linus-kernel programmers. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Amazon’s Alexa avalanche," 21 Sep. 2018 This has taken place in a Congress where Democrats rightfully face consequences for abusive behaviors toward women. Alyssa Milano, Harper's BAZAAR, "Republicans Are Waging War on Women—and Two Women Can Stop Them," 20 Sep. 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

26 Dec 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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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

Comments on abusive

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