2. A substance used for rubbing or polishing: The cabinetmaker recommended an abrasive that used only natural materials for application on the wooden furniture.
When Glenda went to the store, she noticed that there were at least three kinds of abrasives from which to choose for her home improvement project.
2. Describing something that scrapes; rough or scratchy: William was advised to use sandpaper or some other abrasive material to remove the paint from the chairs before repainting them.
The abrasive effect of sandpaper on the wood made it smooth and easy to paint on.3. A reference to something that is harsh, irritating, or rude: When the talk-show host used abrasive remarks, he insulted many in his radio audience.
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.
There are two types: natural and artificial abrasives, and their hardness is measured using the Mohs scale (available in this list), a scale used to measure the hardness of minerals, with talc at zero and diamond at ten. Each mineral on the scale is hard enough to scratch the one below it in the scale.