Open main menu



First attested in the 1530s. From French abusif, from Latin abūsīvus,[1] from abusus + -ivus (-ive).[2] Equivalent to abuse +‎ -ive.



abusive (comparative more abusive, superlative most abusive)

  1. Prone to treat someone badly by coarse, insulting words or other maltreatment; vituperative; reproachful; scurrilous. [First attested in the early 17th century.][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Samuel Johnson, A dictionary of the English language:
      An abusive lampoon.
  2. (obsolete) Tending to deceive; fraudulent. [Attested only from the early to mid 17th century.][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Bacon, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      An abusive treaty.
  3. (archaic) Given to misusing; also, full of abuses.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Hallam, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      The abusive prerogatives of his see.
  4. (obsolete) Given to misusing. [Attested only in the mid 17th century.][3]
  5. Being physically injurious; characterized by repeated violence.
  6. Wrongly used; perverted; misapplied; unjust; illegal. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Fuller, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      I am ... necessitated to use the word Parliament improperly, according to the abusive acceptation thereof.
  7. (archaic) Catachrestic. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][3]
  8. (archaic) Full of abuses; practicing abuse; containing abuse, or serving as the instrument of abuse. [First attested in the late 16th century.][3]
    • 1589, Thomas Nashe, The Anatomy of Absurdity: begin in this vacation the foundation of a trifling subject which might shroud in his leaves the abusive enormities of these our times.


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], →ISBN), page 6
  2. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 8
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 “abusive” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 10.




  1. feminine singular of abusif




  1. Feminine plural of adjective abusivo.




  1. vocative masculine singular of abūsīvus