Skip to definition.
Get the FREE one-click dictionary software for Windows or the iPhone/iPad and Android apps


Verb: abuse  u'byooz
  1. Treat badly
    "This boss abuses his workers";
    - mistreat, maltreat, ill-use, step, ill-treat
     
  2. Change the inherent purpose or function of something
    "Don't abuse the system";
    - pervert, misuse
     
  3. Use foul or abusive language towards
    "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket";
    - clapperclaw [archaic], blackguard, shout
     
  4. Use wrongly, improperly or excessively
    "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"
     
  5. Subject to sexual assault
    "she was abused by her uncle";
    - sexually assault
Noun: abuse  u'byooz
  1. Cruel or inhumane treatment
    "the child showed signs of physical abuse";
    - maltreatment, ill-treatment, ill-usage
     
  2. A rude expression intended to offend or hurt
    "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse";
    - insult, revilement, contumely [archaic], vilification
     
  3. Improper or excessive use
    "the abuse of public funds"; "alcohol abuse";
    - misuse
     
  4. (law) a statutory offence that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat
    "most states have replaced the common law definition of rape with statutes defining sexual abuse";
    - sexual assault, sexual abuse, sex crime, sex offense [US], sex offence [Brit, Cdn]

Derived forms: abuses, abusing, abused

Type of: assail, assault, attack, discourtesy, disrespect, do by, employment, exercise, expend, handle, lash out, mistreatment, regulatory offence [Brit, Cdn], regulatory offense [US], round, snipe, statutory offence [Brit, Cdn], statutory offense [US], treat, usage, use, utilisation [Brit], utilization

Encyclopedia: Abuse, substance