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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 or learning.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8 Various

The palm for abusiveness was, however, carried off by Nicholls and Jekyll.
William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose

His answer to the offensive production flows with anger, and is harsh even to abusiveness.
The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch Petrarch

characterized by insulting or coarse language
characterized by maltreatment
incorrectly used; corrupt

1530s (implied in abusively), originally “improper,” from Middle French abusif, from Latin abusivus, from abus-, past participle stem of abuti (see abuse (v.)). Meaning “full of abuse” is from 1580s. Abuseful was used 17c., and Shakespeare has abusious (“Taming of the Shrew,” 1594). Related: Abusiveness.


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