Etymology
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abuse (v.)
Origin and meaning of abuse

early 15c., "to misuse, misapply" (power, money, etc.), from Old French abuser "deceive, abuse, misuse" (14c.), from Vulgar Latin *abusare, from Latin abusus "an abusing; a using up," past participle of abuti "use up, consume," also "to misuse, abuse, misapply, outrage," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + uti "use" (see use).

Also in reference to forbidden sexual situations from early 15c., but originally meaning incest, masturbation (self-abuse), homosexuality, prostitution, etc. From 1550s specifically as "to misuse sexually, ravish," but OED 2nd ed. marks this obsolete and the modern use "subject (someone) to unwanted sexual activity" is likely a fresh coinage from late 20c. Specifically of drugs, from 1968. Meaning "attack with harsh language, revile" is from c. 1600. Related: Abused; abusing.

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substance (n.)

c. 1300, "essential nature, real or essential part," from Old French sustance, substance "goods, possessions; nature, composition" (12c.), from Latin substantia "being, essence, material," from substans, present participle of substare "stand firm, stand or be under, be present," from sub "up to, under" (see sub-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

Latin substantia translates Greek ousia "that which is one's own, one's substance or property; the being, essence, or nature of anything." Meaning "any kind of corporeal matter" is first attested mid-14c. Sense of "the matter of a study, discourse, etc." first recorded late 14c.

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abuse (n.)
Origin and meaning of abuse

mid-15c., "improper practice," from Old French abus (14c.), from Latin abusus "a using up" (see abuse (v.)). From 1570s as "violation, defilement" (surviving in self-abuse "masturbation," if at all). In reference to drugs by 1961. Modern use in reference to unwanted sexual activity is from late 20c. Earlier in Middle English was abusion "wicked act or practice, shameful thing, violation of decency" (early 14c.), "an insult" (mid-14c.), from Old French abusion, from Latin abusio.

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self-abuse (n.)

c. 1600, "self-deception, abuse of one's own person or powers," from self- + abuse (n.). As a synonym for "masturbation," it is recorded from 1728; an earlier term was self-pollution (1620s).

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misuse (n.)

late 14c., "improper use, misapplication," from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + use (n.) and in part from Old French mesus "abuse, excess, misdeed." As "abuse, ill-treatment" it is attested from 1590s.

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disabuse (v.)

"free from mistake, fallacy, or deception," 1610s, from dis- + abuse (v.). Related: Disabused; disabusing.

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tongue-lash (v.)

"scold, abuse with words," 1857, from tongue (n.) + lash (v.). Related: Tongue-lashing.

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mistreat (v.)

"treat badly, abuse," late 15c., mistreten, from see mis- (1) + treat (v.). Related: Mistreated; mistreating.

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maltreatment (n.)

"rough, rude, or unkind treatment, abuse," 1721, from French maltraitement or formed in English from mal- + treatment.

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sod (n.2)

term of abuse, 1818, short for sodomite (also see sodomy). British colloquial sod-all "nothing" is attested from 1958.

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