Definition of


  1. (noun, act) improper or excessive use
    the abuse of public funds
  2. (verb, change) change the inherent purpose or function of something
    The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers
  3. (verb, consumption) apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
    You are misapplying the name of this religious group

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Misuse

abuse, misapply, pervert

Origin of the word Misuse

  1. late 14c., "to use improperly;" see mis- (1) + use (v.). Meaning "to subject to ill-treatment" is attested from 1540. The noun is from late 14c., in a sense related to the older meaning of the verb. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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