—v.t. 1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority. 2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight. 3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
4. to commit sexual assault upon.
5. Obs.to deceive or mislead.
6. abuse oneself, to masturbate.
—n. 1. wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges. 2. harshly or coarsely insulting language: The officer heaped abuse on his men. 3. bad or improper treatment; maltreatment: The child was subjected to cruel abuse. 4. a corrupt or improper practice or custom: the abuses of a totalitarian regime. 5. rape or sexual assault.