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abuse - definition and synonyms


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noun abuse pronunciation in British English /əˈbjuːs/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] cruel, violent, or unfair treatment, especially of someone who does not have the power to prevent it
    The regime had been responsible for serious human rights abuses.
    abuse of: Physical abuse and neglect of children is too common.
    1. a.
      [uncountable] forced sexual activity with someone who cannot prevent it
      Several female students have made allegations of abuse against him.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way
    price-fixing agreements and other abuses by large corporations
    abuse of power/privilege/position: This is clearly an abuse of power.
    open to abuse (=capable of being abused): All polling methods are potentially open to abuse.
  3. 3
    [uncountable] angry offensive comments
    shout/scream/hurl abuse: Blake was alleged to have hurled racist abuse at a student.


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