[v. uh-byooz; n. uh-byoos]
verb (used with object), abused, abusing.
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.
abuse oneself, to masturbate.

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

abusable [uh-byoo-zuh-buhl] , adjective
abuser, noun
antiabuse, adjective
overabuse, noun, verb (used with object), overabused, overabusing.
unabusable, adjective
unabused, adjective

1. misapply. 2. ill-use, maltreat, injure, harm, hurt. 3. vilify, vituperate, berate, scold; slander, defame, calumniate, traduce. 6. misapplication. 7. slander, aspersion. 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.

3, 7. praise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  to use incorrectly or improperly; misuse
2.  to maltreat, esp physically or sexually
3.  to speak insultingly or cruelly to; revile
4.  (reflexive) to masturbate
5.  improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse
6.  maltreatment of a person; injury
7.  insulting, contemptuous, or coarse speech
8.  an evil, unjust, or corrupt practice
9.  See child abuse
10.  archaic a deception
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from M.Fr. abuser, from V.L. *abusare, from L. abusus, pp. of abuti "use up," also "misuse," from ab- "away" + uti "use" (see use). Specifically of drugs, from 1968. The noun is first recorded mid-15c., from Fr. abus (14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

abuse a·buse (ə-byōōz')
v. a·bused, a·bus·ing, a·bus·es

  1. To use wrongly or improperly; misuse.

  2. To hurt or injure physically by maltreatment.

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

n. (ə-byōōs')
  1. Improper use or handling, as of a drug; misuse.

  2. Physical maltreatment, as of a spouse or child.

  3. Insulting or coarse language.

a·bus'er n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences for abuse
When used as a pejorative, however, it is still considered by many to be a term
  of abuse.
The novel explores what causes drug abuse and what sustains it in its many
Substance abuse and unavailability or lack of needed services.
For information about the form of substance abuse known as huffing, see
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