[ noun mis-yoos; verb mis-yooz ]
/ noun mɪsˈyus; verb mɪsˈyuz /


wrong or improper use; misapplication.
Obsolete. bad or abusive treatment.

verb (used with object), mis·used, mis·us·ing.

to use wrongly or improperly; misapply.
to treat badly or abusively; maltreat.

Nearby words

  1. misty-eyed,
  2. misunderstand,
  3. misunderstanding,
  4. misunderstood,
  5. misusage,
  6. misuser,
  7. misventure,
  8. misword,
  9. misère,
  10. mit

Origin of misuse

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at mis-1, use

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misuse

British Dictionary definitions for misuse


noun (ˌmɪsˈjuːs) misusage

erroneous, improper, or unorthodox usemisuse of words
cruel or inhumane treatment

verb (ˌmɪsˈjuːz) (tr)

to use wrongly
to treat badly or harshly
to use (something, esp alcohol, drugs, etc) improperly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for misuse
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper