abuse Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “abuse” in the English Dictionary

"abuse" in British English

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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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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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

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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)
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“abuse” in American English

“abuse” in Business English

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