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

People in abusive relationships often have a hard time trusting their inner voice. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "7 Helpful Things to Say to Someone in an Abusive Relationship—and 3 to Avoid," 23 May 2019 The play invites the audience to walk through a house where the cast enacts abusive relationships. Beatrice Christofaro, Fox News, "Despite strong laws, domestic violence in Brazil is rampant," 21 Sep. 2018 And abusive relationships aren’t something to be taken lightly. De Elizabeth, Allure, "Bachelor in Paradise," 29 Aug. 2018 Debate during the hearing centered on whether Fallis intentionally fired at officers, and how much her troubled childhood and history of abusive adult relationships contributed to her frame of mind. Washington Post, "Woman gets prison for firing gun during pipeline protest," 11 July 2018 The Supreme Court said that state governments cannot be sued against their wishes in another state’s courts, overruling precedent to end a Nevada multimillionaire’s 21-year-old lawsuit alleging abusive conduct by California tax authorities. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "High Court Overturns Precedent in Ruling on State Sovereignty," 13 May 2019 That kind of stress might come from a traumatic or abusive situation, but your job, pressures at home, and other life stressors can build up without healthy coping mechanisms in place. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Are Heart Attacks Becoming More Common in Women Under Age 54?," 13 Feb. 2019 But in recent years, the permissiveness these policies has also created loopholes for those whose spread disinformation, incite hatred and violence, and post abusive and offensive content to the web. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Twitter’s fear of making hard decisions is killing it," 17 Aug. 2018 Women are fighting because the old forms of power are harmful and abusive to us, to our families, to our workplaces, to our houses of worship, to our democracy, and to our planet. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Alicia Garza: Women Are the New Face of Power," 21 Mar. 2019

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

13 Jun 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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