Meaning of ABUSE in English


I. a ‧ buse 1 S2 W3 /əˈbjuːs/ BrE AmE noun

1 . [plural, uncountable] cruel or violent treatment of someone:

several cases of child abuse

physical/sexual/racial abuse

Many children suffer racial abuse at school.

An independent committee will look into alleged human rights abuses.

2 . [uncountable and countable] the use of something in a way that it should not be used SYN misuse

abuse of

government officials’ abuse of power

A self-monitoring tax system is clearly open to abuse (=able to be used wrongly) .

alcohol/drug abuse (=the practice of drinking too much or taking illegal drugs) ⇨ ↑ solvent abuse

3 . [uncountable] rude or offensive things that someone says when they are angry:

vandalism and verbal abuse directed at old people

a torrent/stream of abuse (=a series of rude or angry words)

shout/hurl/scream abuse at somebody

The other driver started hurling abuse at me.

⇨ a term of abuse at ↑ term 1 (3)

II. a ‧ buse 2 /əˈbjuːz/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: abuser , from Latin abusus , past participle of abuti , from ab- 'away' + uti 'to use' ]

1 . to treat someone in a cruel and violent way, often sexually

sexually/physically abused

She was sexually abused as a child.

2 . to deliberately use something for the wrong purpose or for your own advantage:

Williams abused his position as Mayor to give jobs to his friends.

Morris abused the trust the firm had shown in him.

people who abuse the system

abuse alcohol/drugs

The proportion of drinkers who abuse alcohol is actually quite small.

3 . to say rude or offensive things to someone SYN insult :

Many soldiers in Belfast are verbally abused.

He came to the help of another driver who was being racially abused by three white passengers.

4 . to treat something so badly that you start to destroy it:

James abused his body for years with heroin and cocaine.

—abuser noun [countable]

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.