Meaning of ABUSE in English


noun , verb

■ noun / əˈbjuːs; NAmE /


[ U , sing. ] abuse (of sth) the use of sth in a way that is wrong or harmful

SYN misuse :

alcohol / drug / solvent abuse

He was arrested on charges of corruption and abuse of power .

The system of paying cash bonuses is open to abuse (= might be used in the wrong way) .

What she did was an abuse of her position as manager.


[ U , pl. ] unfair, cruel or violent treatment of sb :

child abuse

sexual abuse

reported abuses by the secret police

She suffered years of physical abuse.


[ U ] rude and offensive remarks, usually made when sb is very angry :

to scream / hurl / shout abuse

a stream / torrent of abuse

SYN insults

■ verb / əˈbjuːz/ [ vn ]


to make bad use of sth, or to use so much of sth that it harms your health :

to abuse alcohol / drugs

He systematically abused his body with heroin and cocaine.


to use power or knowledge unfairly or wrongly :

She abused her position as principal by giving jobs to her friends.

He felt they had abused his trust by talking about him to the press (= tricked him, although he had trusted them) .


to treat a person or an animal in a cruel or violent way, especially sexually :

All the children had been physically and emotionally abused.

He had abused his own daughter (= had sex with her) .

The boy had been sexually abused.


to make rude or offensive remarks to or about sb

SYN insult :

The referee had been threatened and abused.

►  ab·user noun :

a drug abuser

a child abuser



late Middle English : via Old French from Latin abus- misused, from the verb abuti , from ab- away (i.e. wrongly) + uti to use.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.