misused; misusing; misuses

Misuse is using something incorrectly or in a harmful way. I warned you that repeated misuse of your cellphone would break it — I can't believe you were texting in the shower!

You can use this word as a noun or a verb, with just a slight change in pronunciation. As a noun, misuse rhymes moose. But when you misuse the money your parents gave you for groceries, spending it all on candy and comic books, misuse rhymes with confuse. A less-common meaning of the verb is "treat someone badly."

Definitions of misuse
  1. noun
    improper or excessive use
    synonyms: abuse
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    drug abuse, habit, substance abuse
    excessive use of drugs
    alcohol abuse, alcoholic abuse, alcoholism abuse
    excessive use of alcohol and alcoholic drinks
    type of:
    employment, exercise, usage, use, utilisation, utilization
    the act of using
  2. verb
    apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
    synonyms: misapply
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    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  3. verb
    change the inherent purpose or function of something
    “The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers”
    synonyms: abuse, pervert
    see moresee less
    violate or abuse
    take in vain
    use a name, such as God, without proper respect
    type of:
    expend, use
    use up or consume fully
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘misuse'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

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