[ uh-byoo-siv ]
/ əˈbyu sɪv /


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

From the Late Latin word abūsīvus, dating back to 1575–85. See abuse, -ive
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abusively

British Dictionary definitions for abusively


/ (əˈbjuːsɪv) /


characterized by insulting or coarse language
characterized by maltreatment
incorrectly used; corrupt
Derived Formsabusively, adverbabusiveness, noun
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 abusively



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper