The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Abuse is a general term for the misuse of a person or thing, causing harm to the person or thing, to the abuser, or to someone else. Abuse can be something as simple as damaging a piece of equipment through using it the wrong way, or as serious as severe maltreatment of a person. Abuse may be direct and overt, or may be disguised and covert.

Several types of abuse include:

  • Sexual abuse: The improper use of another person for sexual purposes, generally without their consent or under physical or psychological pressure. It is often inflicted on children.
  • Physical abuse: Where one person inflicts physical violence or pain on another.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse: coercion, humiliation, intimidation. Where one person uses emotional or psychological manipulation to compel another to do something they do not want, or is not in their best interests; or when one person manipulates another's emotional or psychological state for their own ends.
  • Drug abuse: the misuse of drugs, alcohol or other substances, usually a form of addiction
  • Child abuse: Abuse, usually physical, emotional or sexual, directed at a child.
  • Spousal abuse: Abuse, usually physical, or psychological abuse, directed at one's spouse.
  • Elder abuse: Abuse, most often physical or in the form of psychological threats, directed at the elderly, especially in nursing homes and similar institutions
  • Human rights abuse violation of human rights.
  • Verbal abuse: the use of foul language, obscenities or demeaning talk directed at another.
  • Animal abuse Abuse or cruelty directed at animals.

Abuse is also the name of a side-scrolling action game by Crack dot Com .

Last updated: 06-02-2005 12:54:11
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