to use wrongly or improperly; misuse:
to abuse one’s authority.
to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way:
to abuse a horse; to abuse one’s eyesight.
to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
to commit sexual assault upon.
Obsolete. to deceive or mislead.
wrong or improper use; misuse:
the abuse of privileges.
harshly or coarsely insulting language:
The officer heaped abuse on his men.
bad or improper treatment; maltreatment:
The child was subjected to cruel abuse.
a corrupt or improper practice or custom:
the abuses of a totalitarian regime.
rape or sexual assault.
abuse oneself, to masturbate.
They appeared to be abusing their bodies to maintain a certain weight.
Tyra Banks’s Open Letter to Models: ‘Vogue’ to Ban Images of Anorexia Tyra Banks May 14, 2012
Hasidic Judaism has a reputation for subverting and abusing women—and women have come forward with testimony to prove it.
The Sisterhood of Bulletproof Stockings: It’s Ladies’ Night for Hasidic Rockers Emily Shire September 29, 2014
The raid, when it finally came, was for trading in prescription drugs, not abusing women or committing infanticide.
The Twisted Abortion Doctor Michelle Goldberg January 19, 2011
But that did not matter to the hospital staff, who seemed sure that Rebecca was abusing methadone.
Medical Consensus or Child Abuse? Moms on Methadone Caught in the Middle Rachel Blustain September 1, 2012
Heitzig denied (PDF) the accusations of abusing his authority.
Calvary Chapel’s Tangled Web David Sessions January 26, 2013
abusing her gentle nature, however, I frequently neglected her.
Japanese Literature Various
Now, sir, where’s the good of your abusing me, as if it was my fault?
The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
Surely if you cannot do this, you too are trifling with words, and abusing your own mind and that of your reader.
Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
abusing Gurard, I went upstairs to my mother, whom I found at the open door.
My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
Beyond a doubt Rose had in some way been abusing this mysterious faculty, and Surrey and the pine-woods was the place for him.
The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
verb (transitive) (əˈbjuːz)
to use incorrectly or improperly; misuse
to maltreat, esp physically or sexually
to speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile
(reflexive) to masturbate
improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse
maltreatment of a person; injury
insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech
an evil, unjust, or corrupt practice
See child abuse
(archaic) a deception
early 15c., “to misuse, misapply,” from Middle French abuser, from Vulgar Latin *abusare, from Latin abusus “an abusing, using up,” past participle of abuti “use up,” also “misuse,” from ab- “away” (see ab-) + uti “use” (see use). Of sexual situations from early 15c., but originally incest, homosexuality, prostitution, etc.; meaning “to misuse sexually, ravish” is from 1550s. Specifically of drugs, from 1968. Related: Abused; abusing.
mid-15c., “improper practice,” from Old French abus (14c.), from Latin abusus (see abuse (v.)). Earlier in Middle English was abusion “wicked act or practice, shameful thing, violation of decency” (early 14c.), “an insult” (mid-14c.).
abuse a·buse (ə-byōōz’)
v. a·bused, a·bus·ing, a·bus·es
To use wrongly or improperly; misuse.
To hurt or injure physically by maltreatment.
To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.
Improper use or handling, as of a drug; misuse.
Physical maltreatment, as of a spouse or child.
Insulting or coarse language.
using, containing, or characterized by harshly or coarsely insulting language: an abusive author; abusive remarks. treating badly or injuriously; mistreating, especially physically: his abusive handling of the horse. wrongly used; corrupt: an abusive exercise of power. Contemporary Examples Mary Williams filed an appeal to the IRS in tax court last year, blaming her “controlling, abusive” […]
- Abusive relationship
noun a state of affairs between two people characterized by wrong or improper action, either physical or verbal Examples If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, take it seriously. Talk to someone; get help. Contemporary Examples She had fallen deeper into depression, feeling that she was hopelessly trapped in an abusive relationship. Whitey […]
using, containing, or characterized by harshly or coarsely insulting language: an abusive author; abusive remarks. treating badly or injuriously; mistreating, especially physically: his abusive handling of the horse. wrongly used; corrupt: an abusive exercise of power. Historical Examples We know men who have what may be styled, and what sometimes is abusively styled, a double […]
using, containing, or characterized by harshly or coarsely insulting language: an abusive author; abusive remarks. treating badly or injuriously; mistreating, especially physically: his abusive handling of the horse. wrongly used; corrupt: an abusive exercise of power. Historical Examples Their crude productions, for the most part, were conspicuous rather for insolence and abusiveness than for logic […]