abusive

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

Definition of abusive

  1. 1a :  using harsh, insulting language an angry and abusive crowdb :  harsh and insulting abusive languagec :  using or involving physical violence or emotional cruelty abusive behavior an abusive husband an abusive relationship

  2. 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

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


First Known Use: 1538


ABUSIVE Defined for Kids

abusive

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

Definition of abusive for Students

  1. 1 :  using or involving harmful treatment

  2. 2 :  using harsh insulting language abusive comments


Law Dictionary

abusive

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

Legal Definition of abusive

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

  2. 2 :  inflicting verbal or physical abuse abusive parents

abusively

adverb


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abusive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!