Abuse or Misuse

Of the two, abuse is the more serious. Most people will avoid using it because of the serious connections it has.

Abuse is to make bad use of, or to ill-treat something. It is often used in phrases such as child abuse and abuse of power.
Misuse is to use something for the wrong purpose.

  • The growing popularity of cheap beer is adding to the problem of alcohol abuse.
  • I misused the knife as a screwdriver and broke it.