Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “abuse”

abuse

verb [T]
 
 
/əˈbjuːz/
VIOLENCE to treat someone cruelly and violently: He was physically abused by his alcoholic father.Treating people or animals badlyInsults and abuseUnkind, cruel and unfeelingViolent or aggressive
WRONG USE to use something for the wrong purpose in a way that is harmful or morally wrong: to abuse alcoholUsing and misusing
LANGUAGE to say rude and offensive words to someone: The crowd started abusing him.Treating people or animals badlyInsults and abuseUnkind, cruel and unfeelingViolent or aggressiveInsults and abuseTreating people or animals badly
abuser noun [C]
(Definition of abuse verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “abuse” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

aptitude

a natural ability or skill

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More