abuse
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French abus, from Latin abusus, from abuti to consume, from ab- + uti to use Date: 15th century 1. a corrupt practice or custom 2. improper or excessive use or treatment ; misuse <
drug abuse
>
<
abuse of tranquilizers
>
3. obsolete a deceitful act ; deception 4. language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily 5. physical maltreatment Synonyms: abuse, vituperation, invective, obloquy, billingsgate mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval. abuse the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language <
scathing verbal abuse
>
. vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse <
a torrent of vituperation
>
. invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation <
blistering political invective
>
. obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace <
subjected to obloquy and derision
>
. billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse <
directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver
>
. II. transitive verb (abused; abusing) Date: 15th century 1. a. to put to a wrong or improper use <
abuse a privilege
>
b. to use excessively <
abuse alcohol
>
; also to use without medical justification <
abuseing painkillers
>
2. obsolete deceive 3. to use so as to injure or damage ; maltreat 4. to attack in words ; revileabusable adjectiveabuser noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

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 — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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