1530s (implied in abusively) "improper," from Middle French abusif, from Latin abusivus "misapplied, improper," from abus-, past participle stem of abuti "misuse," literally "use up" (see abuse (v.)). Meaning "full of abuse" is from 1580s. Abuseful was used 17c., and Shakespeare has abusious ("Taming of the Shrew," 1594). Related: Abusiveness. Abuseful "abounding in reproaches" was in use 17c.-19c.