a·bu·sive (ə-bysĭv, -zĭv)
1. Characterized by improper or wrongful use: abusive utilization of public funds.
2. Using or containing insulting or hurtful language: finally reprimanded the abusive colleague.
3. Causing physical injury to another: abusive punishment.
4. Relating to or practicing sexual abuse.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.