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.

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.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce misuse?

How to say misuse in sign language?


  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. Sanjay Sikaria:

    FDCs are not bad, rampant misuse of these drugs is bad.

  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. Barbara Underwood:

    As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality, this is not how private foundations should function and my office intends to hold the Foundation and its directors accountable for its misuse of charitable assets.

  4. Kellyanne Conway:

    We commend Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association for promoting treatment and recovery for those suffering from the disease of addiction and opioid misuse, we appreciate the example that a trusted and beloved American institution is setting for others.

  5. David Golemboski:

    It raises concerns, of course, that what was underway was an attempt to influence her subordinates in order to benefit her family member, which would be a real abuse of power, a real misuse of her office, meeting with her daughter and these other members of her administration -- with the chief of staff, the general counsel, the secretary of labor -- that suggests that this was not a meeting simply to provide parental counseling and guidance.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for misuse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for misuse »


Find a translation for the misuse definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"misuse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/misuse>.

Discuss these misuse definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for misuse? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    having or resembling a stinger or barb
    • A. eminent
    • B. butch
    • C. articulate
    • D. aculeate

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for misuse: