What does Abuse mean?

Definitions for Abuse
əˈbyuz; əˈbyusabuse

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Abuse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. maltreatment, ill-treatment, ill-usage, abusenoun

    cruel or inhumane treatment

    "the child showed signs of physical abuse"

  2. abuse, insult, revilement, contumely, vilificationnoun

    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"

  3. misuse, abuseverb

    improper or excessive use

    "alcohol abuse"; "the abuse of public funds"

  4. mistreat, maltreat, abuse, ill-use, step, ill-treatverb

    treat badly

    "This boss abuses his workers"; "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"

  5. pervert, misuse, abuseverb

    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"

  6. abuse, clapperclaw, blackguard, shoutverb

    use foul or abusive language towards

    "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"; "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"

  7. abuseverb

    use wrongly or improperly or excessively

    "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Abusenoun

    Etymology: from the verb abuse.

    The casting away things profitable for the sustenance of man’s life, is an unthankful abuse of the fruits of God’s good providence towards mankind. Richard Hooker, b. v. § 9.

    Little knows
    Any, but God alone, to value right
    The good before him, but perverts best things
    To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. Parad. Lost, b. iv.

    The nature of things is such, that, if abuses be not remedied, they will certainly encrease. Jonathan Swift, for Advancem. of Relig.

    Was it not enough for him to have deceived me, and through the deceit abused me, and, after the abuse, forsaken me, but that he must now, of all the company, and before all the company, lay want of beauty to my charge. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    I dark in light, expos’d
    To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong. Samps. Agon.

  2. To ABUSEverb

    Etymology: abutor, Lat.

    They that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away. 1 Cor. vii. 31.

    He has fixed and determined the time for our repentance, beyond which he will no longer await the perverseness of men, no longer suffer his compassion to be abused. John Rogers, Sermons.

    The world hath been much abused by the opinion of making gold: the work itself I judge to be possible; but the means hitherto propounded, are, in the practice, full of error. Francis Bacon, Natural History, №. 126.

    He perhaps,
    Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
    As he is very potent with such spirits,
    Abuses me to damn me. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    It imports the misrepresentation of the qualities of things and actions, to the common apprehensions of men, abusing their minds with false notions; and so, by this artifice, making evil pass for good, and good for evil, in all the great concerns of life. Robert South, Sermons.

    Nor be with all these tempting words abus’d;
    These tempting words were all to Sappho us’d. Alexander Pope, Sappho to Phaon.

    I am no strumpet, but of life as honest
    As you that thus abuse me. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    But he mocked them, and laughed at them, and abused them shamefully, and spake proudly. 1 Mac. vii. 34.

    Some praise at morning what they blame at night,
    But always think the last opinion right.
    A muse by these is like a mistress us’d,
    This hour she’s idoliz’d, the next abus’d. Alexander Pope, Ess. on Crit.

    The next criticism upon the stars seems to be introduced for no other reason, but to mention Mr. Bickerstaff, whom the author every-where endeavours to imitate and abuse. Addison.


  1. Abuse

    Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of a thing, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, assault, violation, rape, unjust practices, crimes, or other types of aggression. To these descriptions, one can also add the Kantian notion of the wrongness of using another human being as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves. Some sources describe abuse as "socially constructed", which means there may be more or less recognition of the suffering of a victim at different times and societies.


  1. abuse

    Abuse is a pattern of behavior used by one person or group to gain and maintain power and control over another individual, entity or system. This behavior can involve physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, or verbal maltreatment. It ranges from subtle, coercive forms to overt and intimidating actions, intending to harm, manipulate, exploit, neglect or endanger the person or entity on the receiving end.

  2. abuse

    Abuse is the ill-treatment, misuse, or harmful, excessive and improper use of something or someone which often results in harm, injury or trauma. It can take various forms, including, but not limited to, physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological, and can occur in various settings such as home, workplace, or public places. Abuse also involves an unjust or corrupt practice that involves the exertion of power or control over another person or entity.

  3. abuse

    Abuse refers to the harmful or improper treatment or usage of someone or something, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. This can include physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological harm, usually involving repetitive or persistent acts that cause harm or distress. It also applies to numerous situations ranging from child abuse, domestic abuse, substance abuse, elder abuse, to animal abuse. It generally involves a violation of an individual's human or civil rights, or the misuse of a position of power.

  4. abuse

    Abuse refers to the unjust, improper or harmful treatment of a person, animal, or entity by another person, group, or system. It involves deliberate actions or behavior, often repetitive or habitual, that cause physical, sexual, psychological or financial harm. This can take various forms, such as emotional, verbal, mental, or physical abuse.

  5. abuse

    Abuse refers to a pattern of behavior involving harmful, injurious, or unethical treatment of another individual or entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. It can occur in various forms including physical, emotional, sexual, or verbal maltreatment, and can also involve manipulation, neglect, or exploitation. For the case of substances, abuse involves misuse in ways that are dangerous or harmful.

  6. abuse

    Abuse refers to the wrongful or harmful use or treatment of a person, animal, substance, or system, often for personal gain or to cause damage. It often involves repeated and persistent actions causing physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological harm. It could also refer to misuse or improper handling of something, such as drugs or power. Abuse can range from individual to systemic levels and can also include neglect or failure to meet fundamental needs.

  7. abuse

    Abuse refers to any action or behavior that involves the cruel, violent, harmful, or unjust treatment of another person, animal, or system, often to gain or maintain power or control. It could be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological, and can lead to significant harm or adversity. Abuse may also include negligence or inappropriate use of something or someone.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abuseverb

    to put to a wrong use; to misapply; to misuse; to put to a bad use; to use for a wrong purpose or end; to pervert; as, to abuse inherited gold; to make an excessive use of; as, to abuse one's authority

  2. Abuseverb

    to use ill; to maltreat; to act injuriously to; to punish or to tax excessively; to hurt; as, to abuse prisoners, to abuse one's powers, one's patience

  3. Abuseverb

    to revile; to reproach coarsely; to disparage

  4. Abuseverb

    to dishonor

  5. Abuseverb

    to violate; to ravish

  6. Abuseverb

    to deceive; to impose on

  7. Abuseverb

    improper treatment or use; application to a wrong or bad purpose; misuse; as, an abuse of our natural powers; an abuse of civil rights, or of privileges or advantages; an abuse of language

  8. Abuseverb

    physical ill treatment; injury

  9. Abuseverb

    a corrupt practice or custom; offense; crime; fault; as, the abuses in the civil service

  10. Abuseverb

    vituperative words; coarse, insulting speech; abusive language; virulent condemnation; reviling

  11. Abuseverb

    violation; rape; as, abuse of a female child


  1. Abuse

    Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Abuse

    ab-ūz′, v.t. to use wrongly: to pervert: to revile: to violate.—ns. Abuse (ab-ūs′), ill use: misapplication: reproach: vituperation; Abū′sion (Spens.), abuse: deception: reproach.—adj. Abus′ive, containing or practising abuse: full of abuses: vituperative.—adv. Abus′ively.—n. Abus′iveness. [L. ab, away (from what is right), uti, usus, to use.]

Editors Contribution

  1. Abuse

    Abuse; abusive; when a human is harming an animal or fellow human for unspecified reasons.

    Submitted by rinat on December 20, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Abuse' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3044

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Abuse' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3063

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Abuse' in Nouns Frequency: #1191

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Abuse' in Verbs Frequency: #989

How to pronounce Abuse?

How to say Abuse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Abuse in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Abuse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of Abuse in a Sentence

  1. Christopher Rufo:

    According to that research, the scale of sexual abuse in the public schools is nearly 100 times greater than that of the Catholic Church, the question for critics who seek to downplay the extent of public-school sexual abuse is this: How many arrests need to happen before you consider it a problem? How many children need to be sexually abused by teachers before you consider it a crisis?

  2. Harriet Beecher Stowe:

    Whipping and abuse are like laudanum: you have to double the dose as the sensibilities decline.

  3. The CER:

    The Commission has concerns regarding the fairness of Enbridge's open season process and the perception of abuse of Enbridge's market power.

  4. Stephen Vaughan:

    His breaches of trust, physical abuse, and blatant disregard for the well-being of people he was purporting to help were unconscionable and must be condemned.

  5. Pst Sam Onitiri:


Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Abuse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • إساءةArabic
  • оскърбление, злоупотребявам, изнасилвам, злоупотреба, обида, обиждам, оскърбявамBulgarian
  • zneužitíCzech
  • misbrug, mishandling, seksuelt misbrug, misbruge, krænke, vanrøgt, mishandleDanish
  • Missbrauch, Mißbrauch, missbrauchen, Schmähung, Beleidigung, beleidigen, Mißhandlung, vergewaltigen, Beschimpfung, beschimpfen, MisshandlungGerman
  • βρισιές, κακομεταχείριση, κατάχρησηGreek
  • abuso, abuso sexualSpanish
  • دشنامPersian
  • solvata, väärinkäyttää, raiskata, käyttää hyväksi, väärinkäyttö, solvaus, herjaus, väärinkäytös, pahoinpitely, hyväksikäyttö, pahoinpidellä, herjataFinnish
  • abus, viol, abuserFrench
  • càineadh, trod, cronachadhScottish Gaelic
  • abusoGalician
  • השתלחות, התעלל, השתלח, ניצול לרעה, התעללות, תקיפה מינית, ניצל לרעהHebrew
  • बुरा भला कहना, दुरूपयोग, अपशब्द, गाली देनाHindi
  • abuso, abuso sessuale, violenza carnale, violentare, violenza, abusareItalian
  • 侮辱, 濫用, ののしる, 性的虐待, 酷使, 虐待Japanese
  • ನಿಂದನೆKannada
  • 학대Korean
  • abūsiō, probrum, obloquor, abūtorLatin
  • abuséierenLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • įžeidinėtiLithuanian
  • lamātLatvian
  • abbużMaltese
  • misbrukNorwegian
  • verkrachten, beschimpingen, beschimpen, uitschelden, misbruiken, onteren, mishandelen, misbruik, mishandelingDutch
  • misbrukNorwegian Nynorsk
  • misbruk, utskjelling, voldtekt, mishandle, mishandling, misbruke, skjelle ut, voldtaNorwegian
  • atéʼélʼíNavajo, Navaho
  • nadużycie, znęcanie się, molestowaniePolish
  • ultrajar, afrontar, abusar, enganar, abuso, ofender, insultarPortuguese
  • abuzRomanian
  • злоупотребление, брань, злоупотреблять, злоупотребить, истязание, нападки, оскорблять, оскорбить, ругать, материть, изнасиловать, оскорбление, ругань, издевательство, издеваться, насилие, обижать, обидеть, обругать, обматерить, насиловатьRussian
  • злоупотреба, злостављање, zlostavljanje, злоупотребити, zlostavljati, zloupotreba, zloupotrebiti, злостављатиSerbo-Croatian
  • misshandel, missbruka, misshandla, missbrukSwedish
  • abuso, panggagahasa, pagmamalupitTagalog
  • بدسلوکیUrdu
  • migeb, nofön, lunofön, migebön, slanön, lenofönVolapük

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    A elate
    B efface
    C cleave
    D abash

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