Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an abrasive manner.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Their manner was abrasive.”)
To abrade something is to scrape at it or scrape it off, and an abrasion is a scrape or a place that's been scraped.
So, something abrasive tends to scrape things. More loosely, someone or something abrasive annoys you or makes you angry. (It's as if that abrasive thing or person is scraping up against you.)
abrasively, abrasion, abrade, abrasiveness
How to use it:
Talk about an abrasive attitude, an abrasive manner, an abrasive personality, an abrasive style, an abrasive tone, and so on. You can complain about abrasive advertising, abrasive salespeople, the abrasive sound of fingernails on a chalkboard, your abrasive classmates who won't quit talking during the lecture, and so on.
Some of my friends love that show House, but I find the main character's abrasive manner just painful to watch--I know it's fiction, but why would any doctor be so sarcastic and cruel toward his patients?
Chris's hyena-like laugh is rather abrasive. But he's a nice guy and is usually laughing at his own hilarious comments, so I don't really mind.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "abrasive" means when you can explain it without saying "getting on my nerves" or "irritating."
Think of a song, a singer, a musical group, or a whole genre of music that you dislike, and fill in the blanks: "I know _____ has a lot of fans, but all that '_____' strikes me as abrasive."
Example: "I know Billy Currington has a lot of fans, but all that 'Hey gurrrl, you're lookin' so faaaahn, GURL GURL GURL GURL' strikes me as abrasive. Probably because he keeps calling her 'GUHRRL' even after asking for her name."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be pretty easy. By the end of the month, expect some whoppers.
What do these words have in common?: ironic, literally, disinterested
Answer: All have meanings that have been hotly contested, with certain people insisting that each word means one thing, while others insist on using it more loosely.
Try this one today: mouse, cherub, die (the cube with dots for playing games).
A Point Well Made:
Daniel Handler: “Jump right in, or wade in slowly. Advantage to one, it's over quickly. Advantage to the other, it isn't.”
1. The opposite of ABRASIVE is
2. Her abrasive attitude _____ her coworkers.
B. detracts from
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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