abuse noun

1 wrong/bad use of sth

ADJ. alcohol, drug, solvent, substance (= drugs or solvents)

VERB + ABUSE be open to The legal system is open to abuse.

PHRASES the abuse of power

2 bad, usually violent treatment of sb

ADJ. emotional, physical, sex/sexual | child, elder victims of child abuse | human rights ~s allegations of human rights abuses | alleged, suspected

QUANT. case six cases of suspected child abuse

VERB + ABUSE carry out, subject sb to She was subjected to regular sexual abuse. | suffer, take The child had taken a lot of emotional abuse. | suspect sb of

ABUSE + VERB happen, occur, take place

PHRASES an allegation of abuse, a perpetrator of abuse, a victim of abuse

3 insulting words

ADJ. verbal | personal, racial

QUANT. stream, torrent He was subjected to a torrent of abuse.

VERB + ABUSE hurl, scream, shout, shower sb with, subject sb to, yell | endure They had to endure continual racial abuse.

PHRASES heap abuse on sb/sth Abuse and scorn were heaped on the proposals. | a target for/of abuse The team who lost became a target of abuse for angry fans. | a term of abuse Calling someone stupid is definitely a term of abuse.