abuse


abuse
abuse vb Abuse, misuse, mistreat, maltreat, ill-treat, outrage all denote to use or treat a person or thing improperly or wrongfully. Abuse and misuse are capable of wider use than the others, for they do not invariably imply either deliberateness or wantonness
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I can’t abuse your generosity to that extent. You’re doing more than enough for me already— Mackenzie

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it turns a man’s stomach to hear the Scripture misused in that way— George Eliot

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Abuse, however, commonly suggests perversion of the ends for which something was intended
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the constitution leaves them [the states] this right in the confidence that they will not abuse it— John Marshall

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Sometimes it implies excess in use that injures or impairs
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abuse one’s strength

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Misuse, by contrast with abuse, emphasizes the actual mistreatment or misapplication rather than its results
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the intent of this regulation is highly commendable, namely to keep the Indians from being misusedHitchcock

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Mistreat, maltreat, and ill-treat usually imply a fault or an evil motive in the agent, such as meanness, culpable ignorance, or spitefulness
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many more patients die from being mistreated for consumption than from consumption itself— Lytton

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the meter, though a well-known English critic has maltreated it of late, is a very fine oneSaintsbury

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have small compunction in ill-treating animals, because they have no souls— Repplier

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Outrage implies abuse so violent or extreme as to exceed all bounds
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an act that outraged nature and produced the inevitable tragedy of the play— Auchincloss

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Analogous words: hurt, *injure, harm, damage, impair, mar, spoil: *wrong, persecute, oppress: pervert, corrupt, *debase, debauch, vitiate
Antonyms: respect, honor
Contrasted words: esteem (see corresponding noun at REGARD): *revere, venerate, reverence: *commend, applaud, compliment: cherish, treasure, prize (see APPRECIATE)
abuse n Abuse, vituperation, invective, obloquy, scurrility, billingsgate can all denote vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval.
Abuse, the most general term, implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the offensiveness of the language
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the extended vocabulary of barrack-room abuseKipling

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those thunderous comminations, that jeering and abuse which make Milton’s prose such lively reading— Huxley

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It may, however, imply hardly more than expression of personal disapproval or displeasure
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a vague term of abuse for any style that is bad— T. S. Eliot

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Vituperation suggests the overwhelming of someone or something with a torrent of abuse
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presidents were nagged beyond endurance, and senators, and congressmen: no one could escape the vials of her vituperationPattee

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Invective implies vehemence and bitterness in attack or denunciation and, often in distinction from abuse, connotes a command of language and skill in making one’s points. It is the precise term when the attack is public and made in a good cause
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John Bull stopped at nothing in the way of insult; but its blazing audacity of invective never degenerated into dull abuse— Repplier

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Obloquy suggests defamation and consequent disgrace
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those who . . . stood by me in the teeth of obloquy, taunt and open sneer— Wilde

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Scurrility stresses coarseness or indecency of language and emphasizes the quality of the abuse rather than the attack in itself
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he was . . . interrupted in his defense by ribaldry and scurrility from the judgment seat— Macaulay

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Billingsgate stresses more strongly than any of the other words the offensiveness, often foul or obscene, of the language of an attack
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the more I humbled myself the more he stormed . . . provoking me with scandalous names that I could not put up with; so that I . . . returned his billingsgateSmollett

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Analogous words: aspersion, reflection, stricture, *animadversion: reviling, railing, rating, berating (see SCOLD vb): vilification, malignment (see corresponding verbs at MALIGN)
Antonyms: adulation
Contrasted words: praise, laudation, acclaim (see corresponding verbs at PRAISE): *encomium, panegyric, eulogy: commendation, applause, compliment (see corresponding verbs at COMMEND)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • abuse — 1 /ə byüz/ vt abused, abus·ing 1: to put to a use other than the one intended: as a: to put to a bad or unfair use abusing the powers of office b: to put to improper or excessive use abuse narcotics …   Law dictionary

  • Abuse — A*buse , n. [F. abus, L. abusus, fr. abuti. See {Abuse}, v. t.] 1. Improper treatment or use; application to a wrong or bad purpose; misuse; as, an abuse of our natural powers; an abuse of civil rights, or of privileges or advantages; an abuse of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abuse — noun. This has developed a sinister violent meaning, ‘maltreatment or (especially sexual) assault of a person’, and is now widely familiar in the specific context of child abuse, of which various aspects include physical abuse, domestic abuse,… …   Modern English usage

  • Abuse — Éditeur Origin Systems, Electronic Arts Développeur Crack dot Com …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abuse — A*buse , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Abused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Abusing}.] [F. abuser; L. abusus, p. p. of abuti to abuse, misuse; ab + uti to use. See {Use}.] 1. To put to a wrong use; to misapply; to misuse; to put to a bad use; to use for a wrong… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abuse — Ⅰ. abuse UK US /əˈbjuːs/ noun ► [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 former president has been accused of corruption and abuse of power. »The politician… …   Financial and business terms

  • abuse — [n1] wrong use corruption, crime, debasement, delinquency, desecration, exploitation, fault, injustice, misapplication, misconduct, misdeed, mishandling, mismanage, misuse, offense, perversion, prostitution, sin, wrong, wrongdoing; concept 156… …   New thesaurus

  • abusé — abusé, ée (a bu zé, zée) 1°   Part. passé. Trompé. Abusé par de vaines promesses. Abusé sur l état des choses. Abusé et dépouillé. •   Nous étions bien abusés, PASC. Prov. 11. •   En vain du sang des rois dont je suis l oppresseur, Les peuples… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Abuse Me — may refer to:ongs* Abuse Me (Silverchair Song) a single by Silverchair from their 1997 album Freak Show. * Abuse Me a bonus song by Sevendust from their 2007 album Alpha …   Wikipedia

  • abuse — abuse; dis·abuse; …   English syllables


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