- 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.
- 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 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. The boy had been sexually abused.
- 4abuse somebody to make rude or offensive remarks to or about someone synonym insult The referee had been threatened and abused.
- a drug abuser a child abuser
NAmE//əˈbyuz//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abuse
he / she / it abuses
past simple abused
-ing form abusing
abusernounjump to other results