A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [verb uh-byooz; noun uh-byoos]
    • /verb əˈbyuz; noun əˈbyus/
    • /əˈbjuːs/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [verb uh-byooz; noun uh-byoos]
    • /verb əˈbyuz; noun əˈbyus/

Definitions of abuse word

  • uncountable noun abuse Abuse of someone is cruel and violent treatment of them. 3
  • uncountable noun abuse Abuse is extremely rude and insulting things that people say when they are angry. 3
  • variable noun abuse Abuse of something is the use of it in a wrong way or for a bad purpose. 3
  • verb abuse If someone is abused, they are treated cruelly and violently. 3
  • verb abuse You can say that someone is abused if extremely rude and insulting things are said to them. 3
  • verb abuse If you abuse something, you use it in a wrong way or for a bad purpose. 3

Information block about the term

Origin of abuse

First appearance:

before 1400
One of the 24% oldest English words
1400-50; (v.) late Middle English abusen < Middle French abuser, verbal derivative of abus < Latin abūsus misuse, wasting, equivalent to abūt(ī) to use up, misuse (ab- ab- + ūtī to use) + -tus suffix of v. action; (noun) late Middle English abus < Middle French abus or Latin abūsus

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Abuse


abuse popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 97% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

abuse usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for abuse

verb abuse

  • harm — a U.S. air-to-surface missile designed to detect and destroy radar sites by homing on their emissions.
  • violate — to break, infringe, or transgress (a law, rule, agreement, promise, instructions, etc.).
  • maltreat — to treat or handle badly, cruelly, or roughly; abuse: to maltreat a prisoner.
  • impair — to make or cause to become worse; diminish in ability, value, excellence, etc.; weaken or damage: to impair one's health; to impair negotiations.
  • corrupt — Someone who is corrupt behaves in a way that is morally wrong, especially by doing dishonest or illegal things in return for money or power.

noun abuse

  • mistreatment — to treat badly or abusively.
  • cruelty — Cruelty is behaviour that deliberately causes pain or distress to people or animals.
  • violence — swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
  • maltreatment — to treat or handle badly, cruelly, or roughly; abuse: to maltreat a prisoner.
  • neglect — to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight: The public neglected his genius for many years.

Antonyms for abuse

verb abuse

  • aid — Aid is money, equipment, or services that are provided for people, countries, or organizations who need them but cannot provide them for themselves.
  • assist — If you assist someone, you help them to do a job or task by doing part of the work for them.
  • improve — to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition: He took vitamins to improve his health.
  • protect — to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
  • clean — Something that is clean is free from dirt or unwanted marks.

noun abuse

  • kindness — the state or quality of being kind: kindness to animals.
  • obedience — the state or quality of being obedient.
  • goodness — the state or quality of being good.
  • acclamation — Acclamation is a noisy or enthusiastic expression of approval for someone or something.
  • adulation — Adulation is uncritical admiration and praise of someone or something.

Top questions with abuse

  • what is emotional abuse?
  • what is verbal abuse?
  • what is child abuse?
  • what is abuse?
  • what is substance abuse?
  • what is substances abuse?
  • what is sexual abuse?
  • why do people abuse animals?
  • what is drug abuse?
  • what is mental abuse?
  • what is drugs abuse?
  • what is domestic abuse?
  • what is elder abuse?
  • why do abusers abuse?
  • what percent of allegations about abuse from children are false?

See also

Matching words

Was this page helpful?
Yes No
Thank you for your feedback! Tell your friends about this page
Tell us why?