abuse

[verb uh-byooz; noun uh-byoos]
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verb (used with object), a·bused, a·bus·ing.

noun


Nearby words

  1. abundant number,
  2. abundant year,
  3. abundantly,
  4. abury,
  5. abusage,
  6. abuser,
  7. abusive,
  8. abut,
  9. abutilon,
  10. abutment

Idioms

    abuse oneself, to masturbate.

Origin of abuse

1400–50; (v.) late Middle English abusen < Middle French abuser, verbal derivative of abus < Latin abūsus misuse, wasting, equivalent to abūt(ī) to use up, misuse (ab- ab- + ūtī to use) + -tus suffix of v. action; (noun) late Middle English abus < Middle French abus or Latin abūsus

Related forms

Synonym study

7. Abuse, censure, invective all mean strongly expressed disapproval. Abuse implies an outburst of harsh and scathing words against another (often one who is defenseless): abuse directed against an opponent. Censure implies blame, adverse criticism, or hostile condemnation: severe censure of acts showing bad judgment. Invective applies to strong but formal denunciation in speech or print, often in the public interest: invective against graft.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abuse


British Dictionary definitions for abuse

abuse

verb (əˈbjuːz) (tr)

to use incorrectly or improperly; misuse
to maltreat, esp physically or sexually
to speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile
(reflexive) to masturbate

noun (əˈbjuːs)

improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse
maltreatment of a person; injury
insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech
an evil, unjust, or corrupt practice
archaic a deception
Derived Formsabuser, noun

Word Origin for abuse

c14 (vb): via Old French from Latin abūsus, past participle of abūtī to misuse, from ab- 1 + ūtī to use

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for abuse
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for abuse

abuse

[ə-byōōz]

v.

To use wrongly or improperly; misuse.
To hurt or injure physically by maltreatment.
To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.
To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.

n.

Improper use or handling, as of a drug; misuse.
Physical maltreatment, as of a spouse or child.
The forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another.
Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity.
Insulting or coarse language.
Related formsa•buser n.


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.