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Abusage first appeared in the 16th century as a general synonym of abuse, but it fell into disuse after just a couple of centuries. The word reemerged in the language with a new grammar-specific sense after Eric Partridge published a book on grammar titled Usage and Abusage in 1942.


abusage (plural abusages)

  1. (obsolete) Abuse. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 17th century.][1]
  2. Improper or incorrect use of language. [First attested in the mid 20th century.][1]
    A stickler for the rules of grammar, Mrs. Walker cringes when she encounters any abusage by the students in her freshman English class.


  1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0198605751), page 10