Definition of misuse in English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /mɪsˈjuːz/
  • 1Use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose.

    ‘he was found guilty of misusing public funds’
    • ‘The new laws, detailed below, mean police have new powers to get tough on people misusing fireworks at Bonfire Night celebrations this weekend.’
    • ‘In my humble opinion, to use them is not wrong, but to misuse them is.’
    • ‘Most of us know people who misuse their credit cards through holiday spending sprees or random acts of profligacy.’
    • ‘People misuse the categories of interventionism and isolationism.’
    • ‘In actuality, the problem is not the weapons themselves but the people who misuse them.’
    • ‘Corruption allegations that she had misused public funds came next.’
    • ‘Not only do they take them for commercial purposes, but they misuse them entirely.’
    • ‘It is not in the driftnet fishermen's interest to exploit or misuse our oceans resources.’
    • ‘They are as often as not people who misuse drugs and then get trapped in a cycle of stealing, drug taking and prison.’
    • ‘And most of these people had been misusing alcohol for 30 to 40 years.’
    • ‘I didn't know it was illegal to misuse someone's social security number or other people's info.’
    • ‘I was under the impression that there was a mandatory prison sentence for anybody misusing a firearm, replica or otherwise, in a public place.’
    • ‘One of the problems in the current subsidy system is that large amounts of subsidised products are misused or wasted.’
    • ‘It was irresponsible people who often misused such powers and knowledge for their own interests and to harm their enemies, he said.’
    • ‘The one target the trust failed on was not helping enough people through its drugs misuse treatment programme.’
    • ‘The problems with people misusing fireworks are hitting the local headlines on an almost daily basis.’
    • ‘The mobile phone is an important landmark in the field of communication, but it is often misused by the people.’
    • ‘Other people misuse this car park when they want to use the cash dispenser.’
    • ‘If people misuse the data I posted, I'm sorry, in the sense that I wish they didn't do that.’
    • ‘Often people misusing drugs and alcohol haven't got their lives in order and the not prepared or motivated to travel to get treatment.’
    put to wrong use, misapply, misemploy, embezzle, use fraudulently
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    1. 1.1 Treat (someone or something) badly or unfairly.
      ‘we felt that we had been deceived and misused’
      • ‘She was the first one of his many masters that had not beaten or misused him.’
      • ‘‘There is a group of guards that have been, well, misusing me,’ she said, looking down.’
      • ‘Our sense was that some people were misusing them and we felt that put our children and other users at risk and that's why we've decided to close it down.’
      ill-treat, maltreat, mistreat, abuse, ill-use, treat badly, handle roughly, treat roughly, knock about, knock around, hit, beat, strike, mishandle, manhandle, maul, molest, injure, harm, hurt, bully, persecute
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mass noun
Pronunciation /mɪsˈjuːs/
  • The wrong or improper use of something.

    ‘drugs of such potency that their misuse can have dire consequences’
    count noun ‘a misuse of power’
    • ‘His government embarked on a campaign of harassment and intimidation against those members of the press who questioned his misuse of power.’
    • ‘Living under the rule of law is an important safeguard against misuse of power.’
    • ‘In order to prove misuse of powers one has to establish the motive or intention of the institution exercising the power.’
    • ‘Exercise of public power has to be coupled with accountability; otherwise, it would lead to misuse of power.’
    • ‘It is not the first time he has faced claims of misuse of power.’
    • ‘This is just another misuse of power by an administration that continually guards its homeland security tactics.’
    • ‘Unfortunately for us, we have only begun to witness the consequences of this ghastly misuse of unaccountable power.’
    • ‘All the three cases, however, are glaring instances of misuse of power by the concerned agencies.’
    • ‘The main complaints were verbal abuse, misuse of power, being squeezed out of discussions and threatened with the sack.’
    • ‘There is, moreover, a close connection between claims based on misuse of powers and those based on proportionality.’
    • ‘Women have similar stories to tell - of misuse of power and of their helplessness in situations where the harassment is short of violent assault or rape.’
    • ‘These checks and balances were created to prevent misuse of power.’
    • ‘Scores of politicians are in jail facing charges of corruption and misuse of power.’
    • ‘Like nuclear weapons, these devices would be awesome in their power - and their misuse would be terrifying.’
    • ‘It also claims damages for unlawful interference, breach of European competition rules, breach of contract and misuse of confidential information.’
    • ‘Abuse is a gross and always inexcusable misuse of power.’
    • ‘I think they should raise their voices against these misuse of administrative powers.’
    • ‘It is the abuse and misuse of any power, any position, public or private, for the gain that it is not authorized for.’
    • ‘However, it is not so wide as to encompass any misuse of power.’
    • ‘The Bill which the government is supporting, will provide powers to control their misuse.’
    wrong use, misemployment, embezzlement, fraud
    illegal use, wrong use, abuse, misapplication
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