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Meaning of abuse

a•buse

Pronunciation: (v.u-byz'n.u-bys'), [key]
— v., n. a•bused, a•bus•ing,
—v.t.
  1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
  2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.
  3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
  4. to commit sexual assault upon.
  5. to deceive or mislead.
  6. to masturbate.
—n.
  1. wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.
  2. harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men.
  3. bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse.
  4. a corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime.
  5. rape or sexual assault.
  6. deception.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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