What does misuse mean?

Definitions for misuse
mɪsˈyus; -ˈyuzmis·use

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word misuse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. misuse, abuseverb

    improper or excessive use

    "alcohol abuse"; "the abuse of public funds"

  2. misapply, misuseverb

    apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly

    "The words are misapplied in this context"; "You are misapplying the name of this religious group"

  3. pervert, misuse, abuseverb

    change the inherent purpose or function of something

    "Don't abuse the system"; "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Misusenoun

    Bad use; bad treatment.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
    Such beastly, shameless transformation,
    By those Welshwomen done, as may not be
    Without much shame retold. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    How much names taken for things mislead the understanding, the attentive reading of philosophical writers would discover, and that in words little suspected of any such misuse. John Locke.

    We have reason to humble ourselves before God by fasting and prayer, lest he should punish the misuse of our mercies, by stopping the course of them. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

  2. To Misuseverb

    To treat or use improperly; to abuse.

    Etymology: mesuser, Fr. mis and use.

    You misuse the rev’rence of your place,
    As a false favourite doth his prince’s name
    In deeds dishon’rable. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    It hath been their custom shamefully to misuse the fervent zeal of men to religious arms, by converting the monies that have been levied for such wars to their own services. Walter Raleigh.

    Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
    Crush’d the sweet poison of misused wine. John Milton.

    Niccolo Machiavelli makes it appear, that the weakness of Italy, which was once so strong, was caused by the corrupt practices of the papacy, in depraving and misusing religion. Robert South, Sermons.


  1. misuse

    Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of a thing, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, assault, violation, rape, unjust practices, crimes, or other types of aggression. To these descriptions, one can also add the Kantian notion of the wrongness of using another human being as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves. Some sources describe abuse as "socially constructed", which means there may be more or less recognition of the suffering of a victim at different times and societies.


  1. misuse

    Misuse refers to the incorrect, inappropriate or improper usage of something, which could be a physical object, a function, a power or ability, a system, or rights. It can involve using something for a purpose it's not intended for, exceeding limits or restrictions, or employing it in a way that causes harm, damage, or unintended consequences. Misuse often implies inappropriate behavior or conduct, often due to carelessness, negligence or malicious intent.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Misuseverb

    to treat or use improperly; to use to a bad purpose; to misapply; as, to misuse one's talents

  2. Misuseverb

    to abuse; to treat ill

  3. Misusenoun

    wrong use; misapplication; erroneous or improper use

  4. Misusenoun

    violence, or its effects


  1. Misuse

    Misuse is a five-piece instrumental group from Athens, Greece. Their music is mainly characterized as post-rock mixed with electronic music elements. Their tracks often follow a scenario-based structure, which has led some critics to describe their music as “cinematic rock”.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Misuse

    mis-ūs′, n. improper use: application to a bad purpose.—v.t. Misuse (mis-ūz′), to use for a wrong purpose or in a wrong way: to treat ill: to abuse.—n. Misus′age, ill-usage: abuse.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of misuse in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of misuse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of misuse in a Sentence

  1. John Wagner:

    There are ways where you can use it responsibly. And it can be a very powerful tool for us to use, but it also has the potential for misuse.

  2. Amit Ray:

    The ethical AI systems must learn not discriminate and not to manipulate any one based on race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, genetic or medical information. Must understand its own misuse or misconduct limits and the recertification mechanisms.

  3. Dan Zadra:

    Worry is a misuse of imagination.

  4. Liam Payne:

    Anger, isolation, violence, substance misuse, all stem from the same place – and these are not unique to the military. To truly make a difference to veterans and their families, of course we must help those in need, but we must focus on solving the problem at source, for me, this issue is personal. My time in the Army gave me the strongest respect for everyone who wears the uniform. It is a community I am proud to belong to, and I will always seek out anyway that I can to support it.

  5. Christopher Moriates:

    Many times the assumption seems to be that these patients use their inhalers outside of the hospital so they already know how to do so, but this study and others have shown this is not true and the vast majority of these patients actively misuse their inhalers, the astonishing thing is these patients often spend a few days in the hospital, receiving respiratory therapies multiple times each day, so lack of effective inhaler teaching during hospitalization is a foolishly squandered golden opportunity.

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Translations for misuse

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"misuse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/misuse>.

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    (used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
    • A. currish
    • B. motile
    • C. sesquipedalian
    • D. askant

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