from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To maltreat.
  • noun Unjust or poor treatment; ill-usage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb to treat badly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To treat someone badly, cruelly or unkindly.
  • noun Bad, cruel or unkind treatment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb treat badly


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I went for her, when I saw he meant to ill-use thee ...

    Fiancée 2010

  • [Be] sly and artful in his behaviour to some, and imperious and cruel to others; being under a kind of necessity to ill-use all the persons of whom he stood in need, when he could not frighten them into compliance, and did not judge it his interest to be useful to them.

    Ashley Rindsberg: Mr. President, You Are Sick With Self Love 2010

  • If they don't give a damn about ill-use of their own creations, they could at least give a damn about the kids.

    Corporatist America vs. The Artist Steve Hulett 2008

  • Then by ill-use of God's Law, Jews turn these poor Gentiles, through guilt and despair, to hatred for God.

    Danny Miller: Kristallnacht: 70 Years Later 2008

  • But that is no reason why you should ill-use them: but only why you should pity them, and be kind to them, and hope that some day they will wake up, and be ashamed of their nasty, dirty, lazy, stupid life, and try to amend, and become something better once more.

    The Water Babies 2007

  • They fight every kind of animal, goats, birds, even quails and larks, which are very plucky, and want to fight; but they pull them off if they want to ill-use one another too much.

    The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton 2006

  • For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly.

    Balkinization 2004

  • He preached it to his daughter that the fellow might ill-use her in some way.

    Amy Foster 2006

  • ‘And I was just coming in to tell you that I would always cling to you, and never desert you, ill-use me how you might!’

    The Hand of Ethelberta 2006

  • Burton Crescent, making his way through the passage into the outer air, he did so because he feared that Lupex would beat him or kick him, or otherwise ill-use him.

    The Small House at Allington 2004


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