Abuse or Misuse

Abuse is the more serious. Most people 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.