Synonyms of abuse in English:


See US English definition of abuse

See UK English definition of abuse

See Spanish definition of abuso


1‘the judge abused his power by imposing the fines’

misuse, misapply, misemploy, mishandle
exploit, pervert, take advantage of

2‘he was accused of abusing children’

mistreat, maltreat, ill-treat, treat badly, ill-use, misuse
handle roughly, treat roughly, knock about, knock around, manhandle, mishandle, maul, molest, interfere with, indecently assault, sexually abuse, sexually assault, grope, assault, hit, strike, beat
injure, hurt, harm, damage
wrong, bully, persecute, oppress, torture
informal beat up, rough up, do over

look after

3‘the referee was abused by players from both teams’

insult, be rude to, swear at, curse, call someone names, taunt, shout at, scold, rebuke, upbraid, reprove, castigate, inveigh against, impugn, slur, revile, smear, vilify, vituperate against, slander, libel, cast aspersions on, offend, slight, disparage, denigrate, defame
British informal slag off
North American informal trash-talk
archaic miscall

compliment, flatter


1‘this law is not going to stop the abuse of power’

misuse, misapplication, misemployment, mishandling
exploitation, perversion

2‘the abuse of children is a major social problem’

mistreatment, maltreatment, ill treatment, ill use, misuse
rough treatment, manhandling, mishandling, molestation, interference, indecent assault, sexual abuse, sexual assault, assaulting, hitting, striking, beating
injury, hurt, harm, damage
wronging, bullying, persecution, oppression, torture
informal beating up, roughing up, doing over


3‘the scheme is open to political control and administrative abuse’

corruption, injustice, wrongdoing, wrong, misconduct, delinquency, misdeed, misdeeds, offence, offences, crime, fault, sin

4‘torrents of abuse’

insults, curses, jibes, slurs, expletives, swear words
swearing, cursing, name-calling, scolding
rebukes, upbraiding, reproval, invective, castigation, revilement, vilification, vituperation, slander, libel, slights, disparagement, denigration, defamation
informal slanging, a slanging match, mud-slinging, disrespect
British informal verbal, verbals
North American informal trash talk
archaic contumely

compliments, flattery