Definition of abrasive in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbreɪsɪv/


1(Of a substance or material) capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding: the wood should be rubbed down with fine abrasive paper don’t use abrasive kitchen cleaners
More example sentences
  • Therefore, two flute end mills are superior in softer more flexible materials and four or more flute cutters are generally preferred in very hard or abrasive materials.
  • Remove shelves and sand them with medium and then fine abrasive paper to smooth surfaces roughened by water.
  • Use a non abrasive cleaner to clean the surface followed by rubbing alcohol, which will remove any residue.
grinding, rubbing, polishing, coarse, coarse-grained, caustic, harsh, mordant;
corrosive, corroding, erosive, eroding
1.1Tending to rub or graze the skin: the trees were abrasive to the touch
More example sentences
  • Nonetheless, any skin-care routine calls for a gentle cleanser - one that will not be abrasive to the skin.
  • It is abrasive to the skin and may provoke allergic reactions.
  • If the particles are not tiny enough, they will have an abrasive effect on the skin.
2Showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh: her abrasive and arrogant personal style won her few friends
More example sentences
  • The woman known for her sharp intellect and her incisive, sometimes abrasive, interviewing style had severe verbal difficulties after the accident.
  • You may have been dealing with illness in the family, but something tells me you would have been this abrasive, arrogant and lacking in self-awareness anyway.
  • Cashie was arrogant, abrupt and abrasive with the media at times.
caustic, cutting, grating, biting, acerbic, vitriolic;
rough, harsh, hard, tough, sharp, curt, brusque, stern, severe;
wounding, nasty, cruel, callous, insensitive, unfeeling, unsympathetic, inconsiderate;
North American  acerb


A substance used for grinding, polishing, or cleaning a hard surface: the refrigerator is easily damaged by abrasives
More example sentences
  • Additionally, most metal polishes contain solvents and detergents to remove the tarnish, mild abrasives to polish the metal, and oils to act as a barrier between the raw metal and air.
  • Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.
  • Egyptians used bath oils, white powders, and abrasives to clean their teeth.



Pronunciation: /əˈbreɪsɪvli/
Example sentences
  • His voice has an elemental beauty - abrasively sexy one minute and angelic the next - that seems both totally of its time and yet is transcendent enough to speak intimately to every individual's situation.
  • In fact, Elmer Rice's 1923 expressionist satire seems abrasively modern in its attack on the dehumanising effect of industrial capitalism.
  • In short the man is setting out to do what the leader of the Opposition is supposed to do - he will oppose as abrasively and effectively as he can.


Pronunciation: /əˈbreɪsɪvnəs/
Example sentences
  • I even think the abrasiveness has its own charm.
  • But it adds to the general abrasiveness and awfulness of urban life, rather than commenting on it.
  • I just love his style, the way that he can be really sensitive and be funny, because generally sensitivity is not funny - abrasiveness tends to be more funny.


Mid 19th century (as a noun): from Latin abras- 'abraded', from the verb abradere (see abrade), + -ive.

Words that rhyme with abrasive

evasive, invasive, persuasive, pervasive

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: abra|sive

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