- 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.
Origin of abusive
Examples from the Web for abusive
They witnessed and experienced the same types of abusive events, Fenner claims.Beaten By His Church for Being Gay
December 16, 2014
Mary Williams filed an appeal to the IRS in tax court last year, blaming her “controlling, abusive” husband for the problem.Patients Screwed in Spine Surgery ‘Scam’
The Center for Investigative Reporting
November 3, 2014
Gruelle's story highlights the overlooked fact that leaving an abusive relationship can be lethal.
Walters's battle to put her abusive husband behind bars is the centerpiece of Cynthia Hill's documentary.
The audience never hears from Candy again until the closing credit when a note reveals she has returned to her abusive ex.
Many replies were made to Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet that were violent and abusive.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Lady Flo: Only that your husband is inciting mine to be abusive.
You are abusive, Ctesippus, said Dionysodorus, you are abusive!Euthydemus
The deputy followed me, indulging in a tirade of most abusive language.The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences
The abusive term for all that is old and rude is already Gothic, Goths.Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
- characterized by insulting or coarse language
- characterized by maltreatment
- incorrectly used; corrupt
Word Origin and History for abusive
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.