abuse

abuse

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of abuse in English

English Online Dictionary. What means abuse‎? What does abuse mean?

English

Etymology 1

From Middle English abusen, then from either Old French abus (improper use), or from Latin abūsus (misused, using up), perfect active participle of abūtor (make improper use of, consume, abuse), from ab (away) + ūtor (to use). Equivalent to ab- +‎ use.

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈbjuːs/
  • (General American) enPR: əbyo͞os', IPA(key): /əˈbjus/
  • Hyphenation: ab‧use

Noun

abuse (countable and uncountable, plural abuses)

  1. Improper treatment or usage; application to a wrong or bad purpose; an unjust, corrupt or wrongful practice or custom. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    All abuse, whether physical, verbal, psychological or sexual, is bad.
  2. Misuse; improper use; perversion. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1788, Federalist, James Madison, Number 63
      Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as by the abuses of power.
  3. (obsolete) A delusion; an imposture; misrepresentation; deception. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 17th century.]
  4. (dated outside of Africa) Coarse, insulting speech; abusive language; language that unjustly or angrily vilifies. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1950 February 11, Alhaji Na-Alhaji in Gaskiya Fa Ti Kwabo:
      But he and all the southerners who indulge in this abuse in the newspapers should realize that this will not enable us to find a solution to our problem but will merely aggravate it.
  5. (now rare)   Catachresis. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  6. Physical maltreatment; injury; cruel treatment. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  7. Violation; defilement; rape; forcing of undesired sexual activity by one person on another, often on a repeated basis. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
Usage notes
  • (misuse, perversion): Typically followed by the word of.
Synonyms
  • (coarse, insulting speech): invective, contumely, reproach, scurrility, insult, opprobrium
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English abusen, from Middle French abuser, from Latin abūsus (misused, using up), perfect active participle of abūtor (to use up, misuse, consume), from ab (from, away from) + ūtor (to use).

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈbjuːz/
  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbjuz/, enPR: əbyo͞oz'

Verb

abuse (third-person singular simple present abuses, present participle abusing, simple past and past participle abused)

  1. (transitive) To put to a wrong use; to misapply; to use improperly; to misuse; to use for a wrong purpose or end; to pervert [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    He abused his authority.
  2. (transitive) To injure; to maltreat; to hurt; to treat with cruelty, especially repeatedly. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
  3. (transitive, dated outside of Africa) To attack with coarse language; to insult; to revile; malign; to speak in an offensive manner to or about someone; to disparage. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
    • Macaulay
      The [] tellers of news abused the general.
    • 1991, Yakubu Yahaya, quoted in: 2001, Toyin Falola, Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies, p. 199:
      So we were angered by this and we could not tolerate this one because prophet Mohammed has been abused so many times in this country. Awolowo abused him sometimes ago saying that he was more successful and popular that[sic] Mohammed and Jesus.
  4. (transitive) To imbibe a drug for a purpose other than it was intended; to intentionally take more of a drug than was prescribed for recreational reasons; to take illegal drugs habitually. [First attested in the mid 20th century.]
  5. (transitive, archaic) To violate; defile; to rape. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  6. (transitive, obsolete) Misrepresent; adulterate. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the mid 18th century.]
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To deceive; to trick; to impose on; misuse the confidence of. [Attested from the late 15th century until the early 19th century.]
    • 1651-2, Jeremy Taylor, "Sermon VI, The House of Feasting; or, The Epicures Measures", in The works of Jeremy Taylor, Volume 1, page 283 (1831), edited by Thomas Smart Hughes
      When Cyrus had espied Astyages and his fellows coming drunk from a banquet loaden with variety of follies and filthiness, their legs failing them, their eyes red and staring, cozened with a moist cloud and abused by a double object
  8. (transitive, obsolete, Scotland) Disuse. [Attested from the late 15th century until the mid 16th century.]
Synonyms
  • (injure, hurt): maltreat, injure
  • (insult, malign): revile, reproach, vilify, vituperate, asperse, traduce, malign
  • See also Thesaurus:offend
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

References

  • “abuse” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 10.

Anagrams

  • aubes, beaus

French

Verb

abuse

  1. first-person singular present indicative of abuser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of abuser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of abuser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of abuser
  5. second-person singular imperative of abuser

Anagrams

  • aubes

Latin

Participle

abūse

  1. vocative masculine singular of abūsus

Portuguese

Verb

abuse

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of abusar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of abusar
  3. first-person singular imperative of abusar
  4. third-person singular imperative of abusar

Spanish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /aˈbuse/, [aˈβuse]

Verb

abuse

  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of abusar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of abusar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of abusar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of abusar.

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.