What does abusive mean?

Definitions for abusive
əˈbyu sɪvabu·sive

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abusive, opprobrious, scurrilousadjective

    expressing offensive reproach

  2. abusiveadjective

    characterized by physical or psychological maltreatment

    "abusive punishment"; "argued...that foster homes are abusive"


  1. abusiveadjective

    Wrongly used; perverted; misapplied.

    I am ... necessitated to use the word Parliament improperly, according to the abusive acceptation thereof. - Fuller

  2. abusiveadjective

    Practicing abuse; prone to ill treat by coarse, insulting words or by other ill usage; as, an abusive author; an abusive fellow.

  3. abusiveadjective

    Being physically injurious.

  4. abusiveadjective

    Containing abuse, or serving as the instrument of abuse; vituperative; reproachful; scurrilous.

  5. abusiveadjective

    Tending to deceive; fraudulent; cheating.

  6. Etymology: First attested in the 1530's. See abusif, from abusivus, corresponding to

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Abusiveadjective

    Etymology: from abuse.

    The tongue mov’d gently first, and speech was low,
    Till wrangling science taught it noise and show,
    And wicked wit arose, thy most abusive foe. Alexander Pope, Miscell.

    Dame Nature, as the learned show,
    Provides each animal its foe;
    Hounds hunt the hare, the wily fox
    Devours your geese, the wolf your flocks.
    Thus envy pleads a natural claim,
    To persecute the muse’s fame,
    On poets in all times abusive,
    From down to Pope inclusive. Jonathan Swift, Miscellanies.

    Next, Comedy appear’d with great applause,
    Till her licentious and abusive tongue
    Waken’d the magistrates coercive pow’r. Wentworth Dillon.

    It is verified by a number of examples, that whatsoever is gained by an abusive treaty, ought to be restored in integrum. Francis Bacon, Considerations on War with Spain.


  1. abusive

    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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abusiveadjective

    wrongly used; perverted; misapplied

  2. Abusiveadjective

    given to misusing; also, full of abuses

  3. Abusiveadjective

    practicing abuse; prone to ill treat by coarse, insulting words or by other ill usage; as, an abusive author; an abusive fellow

  4. Abusiveadjective

    containing abuse, or serving as the instrument of abuse; vituperative; reproachful; scurrilous

  5. Abusiveadjective

    tending to deceive; fraudulent; cheating

How to pronounce abusive?

How to say abusive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of abusive in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of abusive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of abusive in a Sentence

  1. Eleanor Holmes Norton:

    Airline passengers must have protections against such abusive treatment.

  2. Ched Evans:

    It has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine, i wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters, and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so.

  3. Lawrence Walters:

    The warrant was extremely broad, we would hope that this is a targeted investigation to search for what they claim they were searching for. ... If their true intent is to investigate all of her personal communications and investigate Rebekah Jones sources, that would demonstrate this is abusive and retaliatory.

  4. Courtesy Annahita Parsan:

    I was too scared to go home and the police came to the hospital to talk to me. Many people were helping me find a safe place to live, and I knew it was Jesus, and soon, the police called to tell me that they had uncovered a plot in which my abusive husband had planned to kidnap the children back to Iran. After that, we moved to Sweden, and the policeman told me that I have an angel on my shoulder.

  5. Darren Wilson:

    That’s almost abusive of power.

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Translations for abusive

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"abusive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/abusive>.

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    enthusiastic approval
    • A. inspire
    • B. obligate
    • C. fudge
    • D. acclaim

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