Definition of "abuse" []

  • To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege. (verb-transitive)
  • To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use. (verb-transitive)
  • To force sexual activity on; rape or molest. (verb-transitive)
  • To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile. (verb-transitive)
  • Obsolete To deceive or trick. (verb-transitive)
  • To use incorrectly or improperly; misuse (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To maltreat, esp physically or sexually (verb)
  • To speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile (verb)
  • To masturbate (verb)
  • Improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse (noun)
  • Maltreatment of a person; injury (noun)
  • Insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech (noun)
  • An evil, unjust, or corrupt practice (noun)
  • A deception (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "abuse" in a sentence
  • "This jackass didn't do this out of the blue like many abusers who are moderate then get extreme; this level of abuse ** was the pattern of abuse** for this poor girl."
  • "_truth_ abuse them? does the _exposition_ of the _foulest combination_ that ever disgraced this or any other county, _constitute abuse_?"
  • "To the previous facts you are a witness, and best know how far my recapitulation is correct; and I request that you will inform Mr. Perry from me, that I wonder he should permit such an abuse of my name in his paper; I say an _abuse_, because my absence, at least, demands some respect, and my presence and positive sanction could alone justify him in such a proceeding, even were the lines mine; and if false, there are no words for him."