Abuse synonym

Abuse synonym DEFAULT

Frequently Asked Questions About abuse

How is the word abuse distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of abuse are billingsgate, invective, obloquy, and vituperation. While all these words mean "vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval," abuse, the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language.

scathing verbal abuse

When might billingsgate be a better fit than abuse?

While in some cases nearly identical to abuse, billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse.

directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver

When would invective be a good substitute for abuse?

In some situations, the words invective and abuse are roughly equivalent. However, invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation.

blistering political invective

When is obloquy a more appropriate choice than abuse?

While the synonyms obloquy and abuse are close in meaning, obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace.

subjected to obloquy and derision

Where would vituperation be a reasonable alternative to abuse?

The words vituperation and abuse can be used in similar contexts, but vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse.

a torrent of vituperation

Sours: https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/abuse

Synonyms of abuse in English:


See US English definition of abuse

See UK English definition of abuse

See Spanish definition of abuso


1‘the judge abused his power by imposing the fines’


misuse, misapply, misemploy, mishandle

exploit, pervert, take advantage of

2‘he was accused of abusing children’


mistreat, maltreat, ill-treat, treat badly, ill-use, misuse

handle roughly, treat roughly, knock about, knock around, manhandle, mishandle, maul, molest, interfere with, indecently assault, sexually abuse, sexually assault, grope, assault, hit, strike, beat

injure, hurt, harm, damage

wrong, bully, persecute, oppress, torture

informal beat up, rough up, do over

3‘the referee was abused by players from both teams’


insult, be rude to, swear at, curse, call someone names, taunt, shout at, scold, rebuke, upbraid, reprove, castigate, inveigh against, impugn, slur, revile, smear, vilify, vituperate against, slander, libel, cast aspersions on, offend, slight, disparage, denigrate, defame

British informal slag off

North American informal trash-talk

archaic miscall


compliment, flatter


1‘this law is not going to stop the abuse of power’


misuse, misapplication, misemployment, mishandling

exploitation, perversion

2‘the abuse of children is a major social problem’


mistreatment, maltreatment, ill treatment, ill use, misuse

rough treatment, manhandling, mishandling, molestation, interference, indecent assault, sexual abuse, sexual assault, assaulting, hitting, striking, beating

injury, hurt, harm, damage

wronging, bullying, persecution, oppression, torture

informal beating up, roughing up, doing over

3‘the scheme is open to political control and administrative abuse’


corruption, injustice, wrongdoing, wrong, misconduct, delinquency, misdeed, misdeeds, offence, offences, crime, fault, sin

4‘torrents of abuse’


insults, curses, jibes, slurs, expletives, swear words

swearing, cursing, name-calling, scolding

rebukes, upbraiding, reproval, invective, castigation, revilement, vilification, vituperation, slander, libel, slights, disparagement, denigration, defamation

informal slanging, a slanging match, mud-slinging, disrespect

British informal verbal, verbals

North American informal trash talk

archaic contumely


compliments, flattery

Sours: https://www.lexico.com/synonyms/abuse
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This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

[ verbuh-byooz; nounuh-byoos ]

/ verb əˈbyuz; noun əˈbyus /

This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

verb (used with object),a·bused,a·bus·ing.

to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.

to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.

to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.

to commit sexual assault upon.

Obsolete. to deceive or mislead.


wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.

harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men.

bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse.

a corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime.

rape or sexual assault.

Obsolete. deception.



2ill-use, maltreat, injure, harm, hurt.

3vilify, vituperate, berate, scold; slander, defame, calumniate, traduce.


7slander, aspersion.

See synonyms for abuse on Thesaurus.com



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Idioms about abuse

    abuse oneself, to masturbate.

Origin of abuse

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

synonym study for abuse

7. Abuse,censure,invective all mean strongly expressed disapproval. Abuse implies an outburst of harsh and scathing words against another (often one who is defenseless): abuse directed against an opponent.Censure implies blame, adverse criticism, or hostile condemnation: severe censure of acts showing bad judgment.Invective applies to strong but formal denunciation in speech or print, often in the public interest: invective against graft.


a·bus·a·ble[uh-byoo-zuh-buhl], /əˈbyu zə bəl/, adjectivea·bus·er,nounan·ti·a·buse,adjectiveo·ver·a·buse,noun,verb (used with object),o·ver·a·bused,o·ver·a·bus·ing.


Words nearby abuse

abundant number, Abu Qir, ab urbe condita, A bursary, abusage, abuse, Abu Simbel, abusive, abut, abutilon, abutment

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does abuse mean?

Warning: This article involves discussion of the sensitive topics of physical and emotional abuse and substance abuse. If you or someone you know needs support, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline site to chat or call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233. For support with substance abuse, call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

The verb abuse most commonly means to mistreat and cause harm to a person or an animal.

The noun abuse refers to such mistreatment. The victim of the abuse or the kind of abuse is often specified before the word, as in child abuse, spousalabuse, animalabuse, physicalabuse, emotionalabuse, and sexualabuse.

A person who abuses someone can be called an abuser, and such a person is said to be abusive.

Abuse can also be used as a verb meaning to misuse something or as a noun meaning misuse—referring to the overuse or improper use of things. This sense of the word is especially seen in the phrases alcoholabuse, drugabuse, substanceabuse, and abuse ofpower.

As a verb, abuse is pronounced uh-BYOOZ. As a noun, it’s pronounced uh-BYOOS. This same pronunciation pattern is seen in the verb and noun forms of the word use (which rhyme with the verb and noun forms of abuse, respectively).

Example: Just because it’s not physical doesn’t mean it’s not abuse—emotional abuse can leave its own scars.​

Where does abuse come from?

The first records of the word abuse come from the 1400s. It comes from the Latin abūsus, from the Latin verb abūtī, meaning “to misuse.” The prefix ab- means “outside of” or “opposite to.”

We often think of abuse as a repeated behavior, and it often is, but even a single instance of mistreatment qualifies as abuse. Unfortunately, abuse can happen in many forms, and those forms are often specified along with the word.

When abuse is used to refer to misuse of something (as opposed to the mistreatment of someone), it’s often associated with seriously negative behavior, like alcohol abuse (which refers to the overconsumption of alcohol, often due to addiction). However, both the noun and verb can be applied to less serious situations, as in My kids abuse their shoes so much that I have to buy them a new pair every few months.

When the plural abuses is used, it often has a slightly different meaning. When we talk about the abuses of a government or organization, we typically use the word to mean “corrupt or improper practices.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to abuse?

  • abuser (noun)
  • abused (adjective, noun)
  • abusive (adjective)

What are some synonyms for abuse?

What are some words that share a root or word element with abuse


What are some words that often get used in discussing abuse?

How is abuse used in real life?

Abuse is always used negatively, and discussions about abuse are usually very serious.



Words related to abuse

prostitution, crime, exploitation, misdeed, injustice, wrongdoing, offense, misuse, misconduct, corruption, harm, violation, maltreatment, damage, injury, pollution, violate, maltreat, impair, corrupt

How to use abuse in a sentence

  • When it paused the service earlier this year, the company said it was investigating reports of abuse, especially from malware groups.

    Mozilla shutters Firefox Send and Notes|Frederic Lardinois|September 17, 2020|TechCrunch

  • Regular testing can help the department identify officers with substance abuse issues as well.

    The policing reforms in the Breonna Taylor settlement, explained|Fabiola Cineas|September 17, 2020|Vox

  • She said the lead agency into the woman’s allegations is now the Justice Department’s Inspector General, which oversees accusations of civil rights abuses.

    ICE Deported a Woman Who Accused Guards of Sexual Assault While the Feds Were Still Investigating the Incident|by Lomi Kriel|September 15, 2020|ProPublica

  • What I do know from the research that’s out there on abuse and abusers is that there’s a range of, I’d say of levels of denial that they are in … but I haven’t done any interviews.

    Can Anita Hill Forgive Joe Biden … and Work With Him?|Pallabi Munsi|September 14, 2020|Ozy

  • In 2018, for example, Facebook was slow to act on misinformation spreading in Myanmar that ultimately led to human rights abuses.

    AI ethics groups are repeating one of society’s classic mistakes|Amy Nordrum|September 14, 2020|MIT Technology Review

  • These were cops who had worked the protests and suffered the accompanying verbal taunts and abuse.

    Shot Down During the NYPD Slowdown|Michael Daly|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • You get these high-profile people that go into prison, and the staff abuse their authority.

    How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • When they get someone high profile, like the governor [Bob McDonnell] or like Teresa, they will abuse their positions.

    How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Perhaps one of the most egregious examples is the abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws.

    Are Police Stealing People’s Property?|Joan Blades, Matt Kibbe|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • It needs to be said: bigotry in the name of religion is still bigotry; child abuse wrapped in a Bible verse is still child abuse.

    Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen|Parker Molloy|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Quaint old Burton in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," recognizes the virtues of the plant while he anathematizes its abuse.

    Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce|E. R. Billings.

  • He shan't marry me without your consent, so don't be angry and abuse us all; for which you will be sorry an hour hence.

    The World Before Them|Susanna Moodie

  • Notwithstanding, they bear with much patience a great deal of abuse from unkind masters.

    Our Little Korean Cousin|H. Lee M. Pike

  • This abuse, as the years went on, instead of diminishing grew in strength if not in grace.

    Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland|Joseph Tatlow

  • On the other hand directors are not permitted to abuse their power; they must act in good faith.

    Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles

British Dictionary definitions for abuse

verb (əˈbjuːz) (tr)

to use incorrectly or improperly; misuse

to maltreat, esp physically or sexually

to speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile

(reflexive)to masturbate

noun (əˈbjuːs)

improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse

maltreatment of a person; injury

insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech

an evil, unjust, or corrupt practice

See child abuse

archaica deception

Derived forms of abuse

abuser, noun

Word Origin for abuse

c14 (vb): via Old French from Latin abūsus, past participle of abūtī to misuse, from ab-1 + ūtī to use

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for abuse


To use wrongly or improperly; misuse.

To hurt or injure physically by maltreatment.

To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.

To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.


Improper use or handling, as of a drug; misuse.

Physical maltreatment, as of a spouse or child.

The forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another.

Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity.

Insulting or coarse language.

Other words from abuse


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Sours: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/abuse
Synonyms Of Abuse. Antonyms of Abuse. English vocabulary. Synonyms and Antonyms of Abuse.

1. abuse

verb. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] treat badly.

  • kick around
  • step
  • ill-treat
  • mistreat
  • maltreat
  • do by
  • ill-use
  • handle
  • strengthen
  • malfunction
  • undiluted
  • uncastrated
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

Words that Rhyme with Abuse

  • misconstrues
  • transfuse
  • newport-news
  • santa-cruz
  • drive-thrus
  • aeroperu's
  • worldnews
  • underuse
  • primenews
  • kangaroos
  • excuse
  • confuse
  • chartreuse
  • suffuse
  • shampoos
  • revues
  • reviews
  • review's
  • refuse
  • recuse
  • overuse
  • misuse
  • infuse
  • diffuse
  • defuse
  • bocuse
  • bemuse
  • toulouse
  • tattoos
  • taboos

Example sentences of the word abuse

1. Noun, singular or mass
Kitchen Aid oven door glass can take some abuse.

Quotes containing the word abuse

1. There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it's the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism.
- bell hooks

2. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
- Aldo Leopold

3. As an actor, you just want to work, and then you just want to be on a show or have a job that you love, and you hope that job will last - those things have happened. To have that platform to then talk about something that is very personal to me like marriage equality, it feels like a gift. I try and really respect that voice and not abuse it.
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson

2. self-abuse

noun. manual stimulation of your own genital organ for sexual pleasure.

  • abuse (English)
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))
  • self- (English)

3. abuse

verb. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] change the inherent purpose or function of something.

  • take in vain
  • pervert
  • misuse
  • fracture
  • expend
  • finish
  • evolution
  • bless
  • communicate
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

4. abuse

noun. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] cruel or inhumane treatment.

  • persecution
  • mistreatment
  • ill-usage
  • inhuman treatment
  • cruelty
  • ill-treatment
  • child abuse
  • child neglect
  • praise
  • undeceive
  • cheer
  • walk
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

5. abuse

verb. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] use foul or abusive language towards.

  • assail
  • snipe
  • slang
  • rail
  • blackguard
  • shout
  • assault
  • clapperclaw
  • vituperate
  • round
  • vilify
  • attack
  • curse
  • lash out
  • increase
  • lengthen
  • expand
  • uncut
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

6. abuse

noun. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] improper or excessive use.

  • utilisation
  • use
  • habit
  • utilization
  • usage
  • drug abuse
  • misuse
  • employment
  • exercise
  • square
  • angular
  • top
  • bottom
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

7. abuse

noun. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] a rude expression intended to offend or hurt.

  • vitriol
  • cut
  • invective
  • revilement
  • discourtesy
  • insult
  • contumely
  • disrespect
  • low blow
  • billingsgate
  • vituperation
  • stinger
  • vilification
  • thin
  • reduce
  • exact
  • refrain
  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))

8. abuse

verb. ['əˈbjuːs, əˈbjuːz'] use wrongly or improperly or excessively.

  • abusen (Middle English (1100-1500))
Sours: https://www.synonym.com/synonyms/abuse

Synonym abuse


Abuseis generally categorised into sexual, physical and emotional neglect and among these sexual abuseis reported alarmingly common in both males and females.2,3 This may partially indicate the fact that mostly empirical evidence seems to focus on the reported cases of abusein women.4 Though literature has extensively explored gender differences in sexual abuse, less attention has been paid to the identification of physical and emotional abuseand neglect, particularly the role of gender in the prevalence of abuseand its psychiatric consequences such as PTSD symptoms has not been sufficiently examined.3

Gender comparisons and prevalence of child abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in adolescents

The change is part of a Government package to tackle domestic abuseand the draft Bill, published today, aims to support victims and their families and pursue offenders, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

Abuse victim measures

Responding to a question of Shahid Rehmani in National Assembly during Question Hour, he said as many as 3,002 cases of child abusehad been reported in 2013 including 2,017 against girl child abuseand 985 cases of boy child abuse.

17,862 child abuse cases reported in country in last five

Every year more than 3 million reports of child abusecome out in the United States.

Issue of child abuse

Kate Brown has declared June 15 as Oregon Elder and Vulnerable Adult AbuseAwareness Day, joining communities around the world in commemorating this day to promote understanding of abuseand neglect.

Help reduce elder abuse by getting involved

Sours: //www.freethesaurus.com/
Abuse Synonym with Meaning//Googul Dictionary//


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