American English

Definition of abuse verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abuse
    he / she / it abuses
    past simple abused
    -ing form abusing
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  1. 1abuse 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. 2abuse 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. 3abuse 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. The boy had been sexually abused.
  4. 4abuse somebody to make rude or offensive remarks to or about someone synonym insult The referee had been threatened and abused.
  5. abuser noun
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  6. a drug abuser a child abuser
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: abuse