abuse

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See also: abusé

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English abusen, then from either Old French abus (improper use), or from Latin abūsus (misused, using up), perfect active participle of abūtor (make improper use of, consume, abuse), from ab (away) + ūtor (to use).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abuse (plural abuses)

  1. Improper treatment or usage; application to a wrong or bad purpose; an unjust, corrupt or wrongful practice or custom. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    All abuse, whether physical, verbal, psychological or sexual, is bad.
  2. Misuse; improper use; perversion. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1788, Federalist, James Madison, Number 63
      Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as by the abuses of power.
    • 2012 March-April, Jan Sapp, “Race Finished”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 164: 
      Few concepts are as emotionally charged as that of race. The word conjures up a mixture of associations—culture, ethnicity, genetics, subjugation, exclusion and persecution. But is the tragic history of efforts to define groups of people by race really a matter of the misuse of science, the abuse of a valid biological concept?
  3. (obsolete) A delusion; an imposture; misrepresentation; deception. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 17th century.]
  4. Coarse, insulting speech; abusive language; language that unjustly or angrily vilifies. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The history of England: from the accession of James the Second, volume 9, page 153:
      The two parties, after exchanging a good deal of abuse, came to blows.
  5. (now rare)   Catachresis. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  6. Physical maltreatment; injury; cruel treatment. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  7. Violation; defilement; rape; forcing of undesired sexual activity by one person on another, often on a repeated basis. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
Usage notes[edit]
  • (misuse, perversion): Typically followed by the word of.
Synonyms[edit]
The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the template {{sense|"gloss"}}, substituting a short version of the definition for "gloss".
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

abuse (third-person singular simple present abuses, present participle abusing, simple past and past participle abused)

  1. (transitive) To put to a wrong use; to misapply; to use improperly; to misuse; to use for a wrong purpose or end; to pervert; as, to abuse one's authority. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    • 1856, James Anthony Froude, History of England from the fall of Wolsey to the defeat of the Spanish Armada, volume 1, published 1870, page 353:
      This principle (if we may so abuse the word) shot rapidly into popularity
  2. (transitive) To injure; to maltreat; to hurt; to treat with cruelty, especially repeatedly. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) R. S. Thomas, At It:
      And I would have things to say to this God at the judgement, storming at him, as Job stormed with the eloquence of the abused heart.
  3. (transitive) To attack with coarse language; to insult; to revile; malign; to speak in an offensive manner to or about someone; to disparage. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  4. (transitive) To imbibe a drug for a purpose other than it was intended; to intentionally take more of a drug than was prescribed for recreational reasons; to take illegal drugs habitually. [First attested in the mid 20th century.]
  5. (transitive, archaic) To violate; defile; to rape. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  6. (transitive, obsolete) Misrepresent; adulterate. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the mid 18th century.]
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To deceive; to trick; to impose on; misuse the confidence of. [Attested from the late 15th century until the early 19th century.]
    • 1651-2, Jeremy Taylor, "Sermon VI, The House of Feasting; or, The Epicures Measures", in The works of Jeremy Taylor, Volume 1, page 283 (1831), edited by Thomas Smart Hughes
      When Cyrus had espied Astyages and his fellows coming drunk from a banquet loaden with variety of follies and filthiness, their legs failing them, their eyes red and staring, cozened with a moist cloud and abused by a double object
  8. (transitive, obsolete, Scotland) Disuse. [Attested from the late 15th century until the mid 16th century.]
Synonyms[edit]
The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the template {{sense|"gloss"}}, substituting a short version of the definition for "gloss".
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

References[edit]

  • Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 10

[2]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 William Morris (editor), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1971 [1969]; American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.; ISBN 0-395-09066-0), page 6

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Verb[edit]

abuse

  1. first-person singular present indicative of abuser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of abuser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of abuser
  4. first-person singular present subjunctive of abuser
  5. second-person singular imperative of abuser

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Participle[edit]

abūse

  1. vocative masculine singular of abūsus

Portuguese[edit]

Verb[edit]

abuse

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of abusar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of abusar
  3. first-person singular imperative of abusar
  4. third-person singular imperative of abusar

Spanish[edit]

Verb[edit]

abuse

  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of abusar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of abusar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of abusar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of abusar.