abusive [uh-byoo-siv] Word Origin adjective
- using, containing, or characterized by harshly or coarsely insulting language: an abusive author; abusive remarks.
- treating badly or injuriously; mistreating, especially physically: his abusive handling of the horse.
- wrongly used; corrupt: an abusive exercise of power.
Origin of abusive From the Late Latin word abūsīvus, dating back to 1575–85. See abuse, -ive Related formsa·bu·sive·ly, adverba·bu·sive·ness, nounnon·a·bu·sive, adjectivenon·a·bu·sive·ly, adverbnon·a·bu·sive·ness, nouno·ver·a·bu·sive, adjectiveo·ver·a·bu·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·a·bu·sive·ness, nounun·a·bu·sive, adjectiveun·a·bu·sive·ly, adverbun·a·bu·sive·ness, noun British Dictionary definitions for unabusive abusive adjective
- characterized by insulting or coarse language
- characterized by maltreatment
- incorrectly used; corrupt
Derived Formsabusively, adverbabusiveness, noun Word Origin and History for unabusive abusive adj.
1530s (implied in abusively), originally “improper,” from Middle French abusif, from Latin abusivus, from abus-, past participle stem of abuti (see abuse (v.)). Meaning “full of abuse” is from 1580s. Abuseful was used 17c., and Shakespeare has abusious (“Taming of the Shrew,” 1594). Related: Abusiveness.