What is the meaning of abuse?


  • Cruel or inhumane treatment.
    • usage: "the child showed signs of physical abuse"
  • A rude expression intended to offend or hurt.
    • usage: "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"
  • Improper or excessive use.
    • usage: "alcohol abuse"; "the abuse of public funds"


  • Treat badly.
    • usage: "This boss abuses his workers"; "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"
  • Change the inherent purpose or function of something.
    • usage: "Don't abuse the system"; "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"
  • Use foul or abusive language towards.
    • usage: "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"; "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"
  • Use wrongly or improperly or excessively.
    • usage: "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"
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APAWordNet. (2010). abuse. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from http://smartdefine.org/abuse/definitions/1217376
ChicagoWordNet. 2010. "abuse" http://smartdefine.org/abuse/definitions/1217376 (accessed September 26, 2018).
HarvardWordNet 2010, abuse, Smart Define, viewed 26 September, 2018, <http://smartdefine.org/abuse/definitions/1217376>.
MLAWordNet. "abuse" 23 October 2010. Web. 26 September 2018. <http://smartdefine.org/abuse/definitions/1217376>
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