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Definition of "abusive" []

  • Characterized by improper or wrongful use: abusive utilization of public funds. (adjective)
  • Using or containing insulting or coarse language: finally reprimanded the abusive colleague. (adjective)
  • Causing physical injury to another: abusive punishment. (adjective)
  • Relating to or practicing sexual abuse. (adjective)

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.

Use "abusive" in a sentence
  • "Earlier this year, temporary workers at a Pennsylvania plant packing Hershey products staged a mass walkout over what they described as abusive working conditions."
  • "Of the $4 trillion in alleged deficit reduction over 10 years, about half would be from tax increases, mostly on what he called "abusive tax shelters and tax havens" and families "sufficiently fortunate to be earning a million dollars a year.""
  • "South Korea banned short selling, following Taiwan's move late Monday to limit short-selling volume, while Hong Kong regulators said they plan more aggressive measures against what they called abusive short-selling."