noun: [əˈbjuːs], verb: [əˈbjuːz]

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
a•buse /v. əˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus/USA pronunciation   v.,  a•bused, a•bus•ing, n. 
v. [+ object]
  1. to use wrongly or improperly;
    misuse:to abuse authority.
  2. to treat in a harmful or injurious way: to abuse a horse by making it run too far.
  3. to speak insultingly or harshly to or about:to abuse someone over the telephone.
  4. to mistreat physically or sexually.

  1. wrong, improper, or excessive use;
    misuse: [uncountable]drug abuse.[countable]That act was an abuse of power.
  2. [uncountable] harsh, coarse, insulting language.
  3. harsh treatment:[uncountable]The hostages suffered abuse during their captivity.
  4. [uncountable] physical or sexual mistreatment.
a•bu•sive /əˈbyusɪv/USA pronunciation  adj. 
a•bu•sive•ly, adv. 

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
a•buse  (v. ə byo̅o̅z;n. ə byo̅o̅s),USA pronunciation v.,  a•bused, a•bus•ing, 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;
  4. to commit sexual assault upon.
  5. [Obs.]to deceive or mislead.
  6. abuse oneself, to masturbate.

  1. wrong or improper use;
    misuse:the abuse of privileges.
  2. harshly or coarsely insulting language:The officer heaped abuse on his men.
  3. bad or improper treatment;
    maltreatment:The child was subjected to cruel abuse.
  4. a corrupt or improper practice or custom:the abuses of a totalitarian regime.
  5. rape or sexual assault.
  6. [Obs.]deception.
a•bus•a•ble  (v. ə byo̅o̅z;n. ə byo̅o̅s),USA pronunciation adj.  a•buser, n. 
  • Middle French abus or Latin abūsus
  • Latin abūsus misuse, wasting, equivalent. to abūt(ī) to use up, misuse (ab- ab- + ūtī to use) + -tus suffix of verb, verbal action; (noun, nominal) late Middle English abus
  • Middle French abuser, verb, verbal derivative of abus
  • (verb, verbal) late Middle English abusen 1400–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged misapply.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ill-use, maltreat, injure, harm, hurt.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged vilify, vituperate, berate, scold;
      slander, defame, calumniate, traduce.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged misapplication.
    • 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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.
    • 3, 8.See corresponding entry in Unabridged praise.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

abuse vb /əˈbjuːz/(transitive)
  1. to use incorrectly or improperly; misuse
  2. to maltreat, esp physically or sexually
  3. to speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile
n /əˈbjuːs/
  1. improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse
  2. maltreatment of a person; injury
  3. insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech
  4. an evil, unjust, or corrupt practice
  5. See child abuse
  6. archaic a deception
Etymology: c14 (vb): via Old French from Latin abūsus, past participle of abūtī to misuse, from ab-1 + ūtī to use

aˈbuser n

'abuse' also found in these entries:

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