English

Definition of abuse verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    abuse

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abuse
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːz//
     
    he / she / it abuses
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːzɪz//
     
    past simple abused
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːzd//
     
    past participle abused
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːzd//
     
    -ing form abusing
    BrE BrE//əˈbjuːzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈbjuːzɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  abuse something to make bad use of something, or to use so much of something that it harms your health to abuse alcohol/drugs He systematically abused his body with heroin and cocaine.
  2. 2  abuse something to use power or knowledge unfairly or wrongly She abused her position as principal by giving jobs to her friends. He felt they had abused his trust by talking about him to the press (= tricked him, although he had trusted them).
  3. 3  abuse somebody/something to treat a person or an animal in a cruel or violent way, especially sexually All the children had been physically and emotionally abused. He had abused his own daughter. The boy had been sexually abused.
  4. 4abuse somebody to make rude or offensive remarks to or about somebody synonym insult The referee had been threatened and abused. More Like This Pronunciation changes by part of speech abuse, alternate, advocate, approximate, contract, converse, convict, decrease, delegate, discount, duplicate, estimate, export, extract, graduate, import, intimate, moderate, object, permit, present, protest, record, refund, refuse, subject, suspect, survey, torment, upgradeSee worksheet.
  5. Word Origin late Middle English: via Old French from Latin abus- ‘misused’, from the verb abuti, from ab- ‘away’ (i.e. ‘wrongly’) + uti ‘to use’.Extra examples He felt they had abused his trust by talking about him to the press. He had abused his own daughter. He is accused of sexually abusing the children in his care. Journalists covering the case have been threatened and abused. People who abuse alcohol over a long period will develop health problems. The striker has been banned for the rest of the season for verbally abusing a referee.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: abuse