Definition of abuse verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



1 abuse something to make bad use of something, or to use so much of something that it harms your healthto abuse alcohol/drugsHe systematically abused his body with heroin and cocaine.2 abuse something to use power or knowledge unfairly or wronglyShe 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 abuse someone/something to treat a person or an animal in a cruel or violent way, especially sexuallyAll the children had been physically and emotionally abused.The boy had been sexually abused.4 abuse someone to make rude or offensive remarks to or about someone synonym insultThe referee had been threatened and abused. abuser nouna drug abusera child abuser