abuse


abuse
abusable /euh byooh"zeuh beuhl/, adj.abuser, n.
v. /euh byoohz"/; n. /euh byoohs"/, v., abused, abusing, n.
v.t.
1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.
3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
4. to commit sexual assault upon.
5. Obs. to deceive or mislead.
6. abuse oneself, to masturbate.
n.
7. wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.
8. harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men.
9. bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse.
10. a corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime.
11. rape or sexual assault.
12. Obs. deception.
[1400-50; (v.) late ME abusen < MF abuser, v. deriv. of abus < L abusus misuse, wasting, equiv. to abut(i) to use up, misuse (ab- AB- + uti to USE) + -tus suffix of v. action; (n.) late ME abus < MF abus or L abusus]
Syn. 1. misapply. 2. ill-use, maltreat, injure, harm, hurt. 3. vilify, vituperate, berate, scold; slander, defame, calumniate, traduce. 7. misapplication. 8. slander, aspersion. ABUSE, CENSURE, INVECTIVE all mean strongly expressed disapproval. ABUSE implies an outburst of harsh and scathing words against another (often one who is defenseless): abuse directed against an opponent. CENSURE implies blame, adverse criticism, or hostile condemnation: severe censure of acts showing bad judgment. INVECTIVE applies to strong but formal denunciation in speech or print, often in the public interest: invective against graft.
Ant. 3, 8. praise.

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Universalium. 2010.

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