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What does abusive mean?
Warning: This article involves discussion of the sensitive topics of physical and emotional abuse. If you or someone you know needs support, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline site to chat or call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Abusive is an adjective used to describe a person who abuses a person or an animal—mistreats and causes harm to them. It can also be used to describe such a person’s actions.
The noun abuse refers to such mistreatment. A person who abuses someone can be called an abuser.
The kind of abuse is sometimes specified before the word abusive, as in physically abusive and emotionally abuse.
Example: Just because it’s not physical doesn’t mean it’s not abusive—emotional abuse can leave its own scars.
Where does abusive come from?
The first records of the word abusive come from the 1500s. It’s an adjective form of abuse, which comes from the Latin abūsus, from the Latin verb abūtī, meaning “to misuse.” The prefix ab- means “outside of” or “opposite to.”
When someone is labeled as abusive, it often means they have repeatedly abused someone. We often think of abuse as a repeated behavior, and it often is, but even a single instance of mistreatment qualifies as abuse. Unfortunately, people can be abusive in many ways, and those forms are often specified along with the word. An abusive relationship is one in which one or both of the partners abuses the other.
While the word abuse can be applied to less serious situations (like to refer to the misuse or overuse of objects), abusive almost always refers to the mistreatment of people or animals.
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What are some other forms related to abusive?
- abuse (verb, noun)
- abusively (adverb)
- abusiveness (noun)
- non-abusive (noun)
What are some words that share a root or word element with abusive?
What are some words that often get used in discussing abusive?
How is abusive used in real life?
Abusive is always used negatively to describe an abuser or their actions.
If you are going to be a parent or are one, please, please resolve your issues through therapy. Your kids are ANXIOUS. The amount of stories about abusive parents, in my inbox are evidence of this. Stop projecting on your children, they are adult with ISSUES. I'm begging you.
— Harriet Thee Thugman (@Wicked_Womanist) May 18, 2020
"I’ve got my little black book, which will be published on my deathbed."
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 8, 2020
A break up/divorce is better than an abusive (physical, emotional etc) relationship / marriage.
PASS IT ON 👏
— Chief Servant ⚜️ (@_SelormAdzimah) May 19, 2020
Example sentences from the Web for abusive
They witnessed and experienced the same types of abusive events, Fenner claims.
Mary Williams filed an appeal to the IRS in tax court last year, blaming her “controlling, abusive” husband for the problem.
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.
He hurled an abusive epithet into the Colonel's face, and his right hand sought the dagger in his belt.The Coming Conquest of England|August Niemann
Slyme laughed in a sneering, incredulous way, but Sawkins was inclined to be abusive.The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists|Robert Tressell
Hugh was blunt, but not so abusive as he had declared his intention to be.The Light of the Star|Hamlin Garland
In the first place, I see no such custom; and if there was such a custom, there was the most abusive misemployment of it.
We believe the practice of seizing what is called contraband of war, is an abusive practice, not founded in natural right.