abuse Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “abuse” in the English Dictionary

"abuse" in British English

See all translations

abuseverb [T]

uk   us   /əˈbjuːz/

abuse verb [T] (USE WRONGLY)

to use something for the ​wrongpurpose in a way that is ​harmful or ​morallywrong: She is ​continually abusing her ​position/​authority by getting other ​people to do things for her. I never ​expected that he would abuse the trust I ​placed in him. to abuse ​alcohol
More examples

abuse verb [T] (TREAT CRUELLY)

to ​treat someone ​cruelly or ​violently: Several of the ​children had been sexually/​physically/​emotionally abused.

abuse verb [T] (SPEAK RUDELY)

to ​speak to someone ​rudely or ​cruelly: The ​crowdstarted abusing him after he ​failed to ​save a ​goal.
abuser
noun [C] uk   /əˈbjuː.zər/  us   /-zɚ/
a ​child abuser a ​drug/​solvent abuser

abusenoun

uk   us   /əˈbjuːs/

abuse noun (WRONG USE)

B2 [C or U] the use of something in a way that is ​harmful or ​morallywrong: an abuse (= ​wrong use) of ​privilege/​power/someone's ​kindness Drug and alcohol abuse (= using these ​substances in a ​bad way)contributed to his early ​death.
More examples

abuse noun (CRUEL BEHAVIOUR)

B2 cruel, ​violent, or ​unfairtreatment of someone: She ​claimed to have been a ​victim of child abuse . sexual/​physical/​mental abuse (= ​badtreatment)

abuse noun (RUDE SPEECH)

C2 [U] rude and ​offensive words said to another ​person: He had ​apparentlyexperienced a lot of verbal abuse from his co-workers. He hurled (a ​stream/​torrent of) abuse at her (= he said a lot of ​rude and ​offensive things to her). "Idiot!" is a term of abuse (= an ​insultingexpression).
(Definition of abuse from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"abuse" in American English

See all translations

abusenoun [C/U]

 us   /əˈbjus/
bad or ​crueltreatment of a ​person or ​animal, or the use of something in an ​unsuitable or ​wrong way: [U] The ​rescueddogs had been ​victims of ​physical abuse.

abuseverb [T]

 us   /əˈbjuz/
to ​treat a ​person or ​animalbadly or ​cruelly, or to use something in the ​wrong way: He was always ​welcome but he never abused the ​privilege by ​visiting us too often.
abuser
noun [C]  us   /əˈbju·zər/
Providing an ​alcohol or ​drug abuser with the ​righttreatment can ​cost more than $20,000.
(Definition of abuse from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"abuse" in Business English

See all translations

abusenoun

uk   us   /əˈbjuːs/
[C or U] a ​situation in which a ​person uses something in a ​bad or wrong way, especially for their own ​advantage or pleasure: The ​formerpresident has been ​accused of ​corruption and abuse of ​power. The politician ​employs his two sons to ​work in his ​office at ​taxpayers' ​expense, which critics say is an abuse of his ​position. The ​CEO was ​fined for market abuse after encouraging his friends to ​buyshares before the ​takeover was announced ​publicly. Employees are ​routinelytested for drug and alcohol abuse.
[U] rude and ​offensive words said to another ​person: He ​claimed he had received verbal abuse from his co-workers.

abuseverb [T]

uk   us   /əˈbjuːz/
to use something in a ​bad or wrong way, especially for your own ​advantage or pleasure: The Chief Executive is ​accused of abusing his ​position by ​advising family ​members when to ​buy and ​sellshares. Workers ​found to be abusing ​drugs or alcohol will be ​offeredhelp.
to use rude and ​offensive words to another ​person: Striking ​workers abused ​colleagues who continued to go into ​work.
(Definition of abuse from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of abuse?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“abuse” in Business English

Word of the Day
faith school

a school that is financially supported by a particular religious group, usually for children from that religion

Word of the Day