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misuse

[n. mis-yoos; v. mis-yooz] /n. mɪsˈyus; v. mɪsˈyuz/
noun
1.
wrong or improper use; misapplication.
2.
Obsolete. bad or abusive treatment.
verb (used with object), misused, misusing.
3.
to use wrongly or improperly; misapply.
4.
to treat badly or abusively; maltreat.
Origin of misuse
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English; see mis-1, use
Synonyms
1. misemployment, misappropriation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for misused
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When it is misused, let us abuse it as heartily as we like, and take any possible measures to punish it.

    International Finance Hartley Withers
  • Plotinus is a mystic, then, though not at all in the sense in which the term is often misused.

  • Having no occupation other than to wallow in pleasure, they have speedily misused their sense, as the artisan has misused brandy.

    The Thirteen Honore de Balzac
  • In speaking and in writing of stage matters, these words are often misused.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
  • To be serious, Charley, I have misused the King's press damnably; we have such a party as few have ever witnessed.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for misused

misuse

noun (ˌmɪsˈjuːs)
1.
erroneous, improper, or unorthodox use: misuse of words
2.
cruel or inhumane treatment
verb (transitive) (ˌmɪsˈjuːz)
3.
to use wrongly
4.
to treat badly or harshly
5.
to use (something, esp alcohol, drugs, etc) improperly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misused

misuse

v.

late 14c., "to use improperly;" see mis- (1) + use (v.). Meaning "to subject to ill-treatment" is attested from 1530s. Related: Misused; misusing.

n.

late 14c., from mis- (1) + use (n.). It aligns with the older sense of the verb misuse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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