Abuse A*buse", n. [F. abus, L. abusus, fr. abuti. See {Abuse}, v. t.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as by the abuses of power. --Madison. [1913 Webster]

2. Physical ill treatment; injury. ``Rejoice . . . at the abuse of Falstaff.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. A corrupt practice or custom; offense; crime; fault; as, the abuses in the civil service. [1913 Webster]

Abuse after disappeared without a struggle.. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

4. Vituperative words; coarse, insulting speech; abusive language; virulent condemnation; reviling. [1913 Webster]

The two parties, after exchanging a good deal of abuse, came to blows. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

5. Violation; rape; as, abuse of a female child. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Abuse of distress} (Law), a wrongful using of an animal or chattel distrained, by the distrainer. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Invective; contumely; reproach; scurrility; insult; opprobrium.

Usage: {Abuse}, {Invective}. Abuse is generally prompted by anger, and vented in harsh and unseemly words. It is more personal and coarse than invective. Abuse generally takes place in private quarrels; invective in writing or public discussions. Invective may be conveyed in refined language and dictated by indignation against what is blameworthy. --C. J. Smith. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • abuse — 1 /ə byüz/ vt abused, abus·ing 1: to put to a use other than the one intended: as a: to put to a bad or unfair use abusing the powers of office b: to put to improper or excessive use abuse narcotics …   Law dictionary

  • abuse — vb Abuse, misuse, mistreat, maltreat, ill treat, outrage all denote to use or treat a person or thing improperly or wrongfully. Abuse and misuse are capable of wider use than the others, for they do not invariably imply either deliberateness or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abuse — noun. This has developed a sinister violent meaning, ‘maltreatment or (especially sexual) assault of a person’, and is now widely familiar in the specific context of child abuse, of which various aspects include physical abuse, domestic abuse,… …   Modern English usage

  • Abuse — Éditeur Origin Systems, Electronic Arts Développeur Crack dot Com …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abuse — A*buse , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Abused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Abusing}.] [F. abuser; L. abusus, p. p. of abuti to abuse, misuse; ab + uti to use. See {Use}.] 1. To put to a wrong use; to misapply; to misuse; to put to a bad use; to use for a wrong… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abuse — Ⅰ. abuse UK US /əˈbjuːs/ noun ► [C or U] a situation in which a person uses something in a bad or wrong way, especially for their own advantage or pleasure: »The former president has been accused of corruption and abuse of power. »The politician… …   Financial and business terms

  • abuse — [n1] wrong use corruption, crime, debasement, delinquency, desecration, exploitation, fault, injustice, misapplication, misconduct, misdeed, mishandling, mismanage, misuse, offense, perversion, prostitution, sin, wrong, wrongdoing; concept 156… …   New thesaurus

  • abusé — abusé, ée (a bu zé, zée) 1°   Part. passé. Trompé. Abusé par de vaines promesses. Abusé sur l état des choses. Abusé et dépouillé. •   Nous étions bien abusés, PASC. Prov. 11. •   En vain du sang des rois dont je suis l oppresseur, Les peuples… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • abuse — abuse; dis·abuse; …   English syllables

  • abuse — [ə byo͞oz′; , ə byo͞os′] vt. abused, abusing [ME abusen < OFr abuser < L abusus, pp. of abuti, misuse < ab , away, from + uti, to use] 1. to use wrongly; misuse [to abuse a privilege] 2. a) to hurt by treating badly; mistreat b) to… …   English World dictionary

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