Adjective "abrasive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


(of a substance or material) capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding.
  1. 'don't use abrasive kitchen cleaners'
  2. 'Nonetheless, it is prudent to make sure your boot pivot sockets are clean of grit, since heavy use combined with abrasive material could accelerate wear.'
  3. 'Grass is a very tough and abrasive material, and herbivores like horses evolved very high-crowned teeth to cope with the wear.'
  4. 'Final polishing will only succeed on the hardest of stones, such as granite, porphyry, and gemstones, and again abrasive materials will be used for this, including abrasive powders or salts.'
  5. 'A ring of abrasive material such as eggshells, sand, wood shavings, diatomaceous earth, hair or ash can be placed around susceptible plants.'
  6. 'Remove shelves and sand them with medium and then fine abrasive paper to smooth surfaces roughened by water.'
  7. 'The high vanadium steel is somewhat brittle, but is excellent for cutting very abrasive materials.'
  8. 'On top of that, the constant exposure to abrasive carbon dust is making a joke of maintenance budgets.'
  9. 'This will include using an abrasive material in the food troughs, which will wear down the sharp point of the beak as the hen feeds.'
  10. 'Next, an abrasive water jet cuts the metal projectile body in two places to enable removal of the aluminum explosive casing.'
  11. 'Apply a poultice of abrasive powder and hot water.'
  12. 'Nonetheless, any skin-care routine calls for a gentle cleanser - one that will not be abrasive to the skin.'
  13. 'They grew close enough together so that reaching from one to the next was never a problem, and the bark was just rough enough to offer a good grip without being abrasive.'
  14. 'The label is always of an artificial fabric - harsh, almost abrasive, to the touch.'
  15. 'The sand had subtle rosy hues and was very abrasive, sharp enough to cut if you kneeled on it.'
  16. 'It was white, and pearly looking, but abrasive, as she found when she touched it.'
Showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh.
  1. 'Even so I seemed at every point of contact to be surrounded by abrasive people intent on disturbing my peace, my comfort, and my equable nature.'
  2. 'He denies nothing of his abrasive personality.'
  3. 'Especially in the 1840s, the Piedmontese left, for its part, distrusted and despised Cavour whom they viewed as an arrogant and abrasive aristocratic conservative.'
  4. 'Unfortunately they can often be abrasive and overbearing personality types.'
  5. 'Cashie was arrogant, abrupt and abrasive with the media at times.'
  6. 'But, you wouldn't know by looking, because he's an abrasive, arrogant, off-kilter man trying to make his idiosyncratic way in academia.'
  7. 'The woman known for her sharp intellect and her incisive, sometimes abrasive, interviewing style had severe verbal difficulties after the accident.'
  8. 'His personal style was often abrasive, and he came close to being sacked by Eisenhower.'
  9. 'The younger woman is constantly worn down by the older woman's negativity, Mag's abrasive personality pushing her to increasingly desperate little acts of rebellion.'
  10. 'I not proud of it but I can be as abusive, as abrasive and as hurtful as the next imperfect being on life's assembly line.'


A substance used for grinding, polishing, or cleaning a hard surface.
  1. 'To work this extremely hard stone, which can only be shaped by grinding with the help of abrasives, artisans were recruited from all over his vast empire.'
  2. 'The abrasive particles may be incorporated into a variety of abrasive articles, including bonded abrasives, coated abrasives, nonwoven abrasives, and abrasive brushes.'
  3. 'Man-made diamond abrasives have revolutionized the process of maintaining a ‘hair-popping’ sharp edge.'
  4. 'They are normally used as industrial abrasives, in diamond drilling equipment, or in glass cutting knives.'
  5. 'The main uses of garnets are for abrasives and grinding materials; they also provide semi-precious gemstones such as rhodolite, demantoid, and grossular.'
  6. '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.'
  7. 'Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.'
  8. 'In the past, tooth-whitening products consisted of mild abrasives and detergents that were designed to scour the teeth and remove stains from the surface.'
  9. 'These handy fossils are used today in cleansers, paints, filtering agents, abrasives… and even toothpastes!'
  10. 'Flitz Metal Polish comes in a bottle or pre-moistened towelettes, contains no ammonia or abrasives and removes tarnish, rust, water stains, fingerprints and oxidation.'


1. any material or substance used for grinding, polishing, etc., as emery, pumice, or sandpaper. adjective

2. tending to abrade; causing abrasion; abrading.

3. tending to annoy or cause ill will; overly aggressive: an abrasive personality.

More examples(as adjective)

"visitors can be abrasive at times."

"visitors can be abrasive at natives."

"slices can be abrasive as attacks."

"people can be abrasive in images."

"papers can be abrasive."

More examples++


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