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Meaning & Definition of Abuse in English

English

Abuse

/əbjus/

noun

1. Cruel or inhumane treatment

  • "The child showed signs of physical abuse"
    synonym:
  • maltreatment
  • ,
  • ill-treatment
  • ,
  • ill-usage
  • ,
  • abuse

2. A rude expression intended to offend or hurt

  • "When a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"
  • "They yelled insults at the visiting team"
    synonym:
  • abuse
  • ,
  • insult
  • ,
  • revilement
  • ,
  • contumely
  • ,
  • vilification

3. Improper or excessive use

  • "Alcohol abuse"
  • "The abuse of public funds"
    synonym:
  • misuse
  • ,
  • abuse

verb

1. Treat badly

  • "This boss abuses his workers"
  • "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"
    synonym:
  • mistreat
  • ,
  • maltreat
  • ,
  • abuse
  • ,
  • ill-use
  • ,
  • step
  • ,
  • ill-treat

2. Change the inherent purpose or function of something

  • "Don't abuse the system"
  • "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"
    synonym:
  • pervert
  • ,
  • misuse
  • ,
  • abuse

3. Use foul or abusive language towards

  • "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"
  • "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"
    synonym:
  • abuse
  • ,
  • clapperclaw
  • ,
  • blackguard
  • ,
  • shout

4. Use wrongly or improperly or excessively

  • "Her husband often abuses alcohol"
  • "While she was pregnant, she abused drugs"
    synonym:
  • abuse

Examples of using

Everyone has the right to be stupid. Some people just abuse that privilege.
People shouldn't abuse animals.
There must be equal pay for equal work, and where this is not the case, the abuse must be resisted at all costs.