Meaning of ABUSE in English


— abusable /euh byooh"zeuh beuhl/ , adj. — abuser , n.

v. /euh byoohz"/ ; n. /euh byoohs"/ , v. , abused, abusing , n.


1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.

2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.

3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.

4. to commit sexual assault upon.

5. Obs. to deceive or mislead.

6. abuse oneself , to masturbate.


7. wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.

8. harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men.

9. bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse.

10. a corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime.

11. rape or sexual assault.

12. Obs. deception.

[ 1400-50; (v.) late ME abusen abuser, v. deriv. of abus abusus misuse, wasting, equiv. to abut ( i ) to use up, misuse ( ab- AB- + uti to USE) + -tus suffix of v. action; (n.) late ME abus abus or L abusus ]

Syn. 1. misapply. 2. ill-use, maltreat, injure, harm, hurt. 3. vilify, vituperate, berate, scold; slander, defame, calumniate, traduce. 7. misapplication. 8. slander, aspersion. ABUSE, CENSURE, INVECTIVE all mean strongly expressed disapproval. ABUSE implies an outburst of harsh and scathing words against another (often one who is defenseless): abuse directed against an opponent. CENSURE implies blame, adverse criticism, or hostile condemnation: severe censure of acts showing bad judgment. INVECTIVE applies to strong but formal denunciation in speech or print, often in the public interest: invective against graft.

Ant. 3, 8. praise.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .