Meaning of ABUSE in English



Pronunciation: ə - ' byüs

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French abus, from Latin abusus, from abuti to consume, from ab- + uti to use

Date: 15th century

1 : a corrupt practice or custom

2 : improper or excessive use or treatment : MISUSE <drug abuse > < abuse of tranquilizers>

3 obsolete : a deceitful act : DECEPTION

4 : language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily

5 : physical maltreatment

synonyms ABUSE , VITUPERATION , INVECTIVE , OBLOQUY , BILLINGSGATE mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval. ABUSE the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language <scathing verbal abuse >. VITUPERATION implies fluent and sustained abuse <a torrent of vituperation >. INVECTIVE implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation <blistering political invective >. OBLOQUY suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace <subjected to obloquy and derision>. BILLINGSGATE implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse <directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.