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Related to abusive: Emotionally abusive


Tending to deceive; practicing abuse; prone to ill-treat by coarse, insulting words or harmful acts. Using ill treatment; injurious, improper, hurtful, offensive, reproachful.

Using abusive language, even though offensive, is not criminal unless it amounts to fighting words that, by their very utterance, tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.


adjective detracting, insulting, maledictory, menacing, quarreling, reviling, threatening, ungracious
Associated concepts: abusive language, abusive letter, abuuive manner
See also: calumnious, contemptuous, hostile, impertinent, insolent, libelous, obloquy, offensive, outrageous, pejorative, phillipic, scurrilous, slander, vilification
References in classic literature ?
The counsel were eloquent, argumentative, and vindictively abusive of each other, as was characteristic and proper.
Now and then, losing his calm as he felt himself more and more foolish, Hayward became abusive, and only the American's smiling politeness prevented the argument from degenerating into a quarrel.
he cried, suddenly changing his abusive tone for one of great courtesy.
But their talking put him out, and for a time he was certainly merely repeating abusive terms, "prancin' nincompoops" and the like, old terms and new.
The Englishman attempted to dissuade him, but immediately the black became threatening and abusive, since, like all those who are ignorant, he was suspicious that the intentions of others were always ulterior unless they perfectly coincided with his wishes.
I explained our circumstances to her skipper and asked for food, water and oil; but when he found that we were not German, he became very angry and abusive and started to draw away from us; but I was in no mood for any such business.
Nothing particularly abusive," Sir Edward answered blandly.
I turned away to pay off my taxi, the driver of which was very cantankerous and abusive over his fare.
The circle of torturers formed about Jerry again, and again was wreaked upon him all abusive contempt for having lost his taboo.
He was assailed terribly in the press, in long and abusive editorials, for his anarchy, and hints were made of mental breakdown on his part.
Croiset remark, the abusive Thersites in the "Aethiopis" is clearly copied from the Thersites of the "Iliad"; in the same poem Antilochus, slain by Memnon and avenged by Achilles, is obviously modelled on Patroclus.
You may behave rudely to me, you may speak in the most abusive terms of my adopted daughter; I will submit to anything, as part of my atonement.