abuse 1 /ə-'byüz/ vt abused, abus·ing
1: to put to a use other than the one intended: as
a: to put to a bad or unfair use
abusing the powers of office
b: to put to improper or excessive use
abuse narcotics
2 a: to inflict physical or emotional mistreatment or injury on (as one's child) purposely or through negligence or neglect and often on a regular basis
b: to engage in sexual activity with (a child under an age specified by statute)
3: to attack harshly with words
abuse a police officer
abuse a debtor
abus·er n
abuse 2 /ə-'byüs/ n
1: improper, unfair, or excessive use
abuse of authority
2 a: the infliction of physical or emotional injury; also: the crime of inflicting such injury see also battered child syndrome, battered woman's syndrome compare cruelty, neglect
3: a verbal attack (as on a police officer in the performance of his or her duty); also: the crime of making such an attack

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (corrupt practice) noun baseness, breach of trust, deviation from rectitude, dishonesty, distortion, erroneous use, excessive use, exploitation, fraudulency, ill usage, ill use, improper usage, improper use, jobbery, malfeasance, malversation, misapplication, misappropriation, misdirection, misemployment, mishandling, mismanagement, misrepresentation, misstatement, misusage, misuse, perversion, usus perversus, violation, want of principle, wrong use associated concepts: abuse of a mandate, abuse of a proceeding, abuse of authority, abuse of discretion, abuse of executive authority, abuse of legal process, abuse of power, neglect foreign phrases:
- Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia. — A conclusion as to the use of a thing from its abuse is invalid
- Confirmat usum qui tollit abusum. — He confirms a use who removes an abuse
- Omnium rerum quarum usus est, potest esse abusus, virtute sola excepta. — There may be an abuse of everything of which there is a use, virtue alone excepted
II (physical misuse) noun atrocity, bad treatment, damage, debasement, defilement, dishonor, dishonoring, hurt, ill treatment, ill usage, ill use, impairment, indecent assault, injury, maltreatment, mishandling, mistreatment, misusage, molestation, outrage, persecution, victimization, violation associated concepts: abuse of a child, wife-beating III (misuse) verb abuti, ill-use, injure, make excessive use of, make improper use of, maltreat, manhandle, misapply, misappropriate, misemploy, mishandle, mistreat, pervert, use improperly, use wrongly associated concepts: abuse of a minor IV (victimize) verb injure, maltreat, manhandle, mistreat, molest, oppress V (violate) verb debauch, defile, degrade, dishonor, harm, ill-use, persecute, pollute, profane, wrong VI index aspersion, atrocity, attack, badger, beat (strike), contumely, criticism, damage, debauch, defamation, diatribe, dissipate (expend foolishly), endanger, exploit (take advantage of), harm, ill use, imprecation, infliction, injury, injustice, malign, maltreat, misapplication, misappropriation, misemploy, mishandle (maltreat), mishandle (mismanage), mistreat, misusage, misuse, molest (subject to indecent advances), molestation, obloquy, offend (insult), oppression, persecute, perversion, pervert, provocation, rape, reproach, revilement, shame, transgression, vilification, violation, wrong

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Under UK and EU law, businesses who are in a dominant position in a particular market must be careful to avoid accusations that they are abusing that dominant position. "Dominant" under EU law (Article 86 of the Treaty of Rome) means being able to act without having to consider competitors and customers. Under UK laws such consideration may apply where more than 25% of a market is controlled and group turnover is over ₤5 million. Market is a complex subject and defining what the market is in any particular case depends on issues such as consumer choice, product use and other considerations. "Abuse" (abuse) is non-exhaustively defined under EU law to cover unfair terms, limitations, discriminatory terms, tie-ins and refusals to supply. Similar practices are likely to fall foul of UK law.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

To misuse; to wrong or mistreat a person or animal physically, mentally, or sexually.
Improper use; corrupt acts; cruel treatment of another; violence or sexual assault toward another.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1) Mistreatment, as in child abuse.
2) Excessive and wrongful use, as in substance abuse.
3) In bankruptcy, misuse of Chapter 7 bankruptcy by a debtor that has enough disposable income to fund a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Category: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure & Debt → Bankruptcy
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 v. To mistreat or neglect a person, particularly as to one for whom the actor has special responsibility by virtue of a relationship, e.g., spouse, child, elderly parent, or one for whom the actor has undertaken a duty of care, e.g., nurse-patient;
2 v. to use an object in an illegal or unreasonable manner.
3 n. The mental or physical mistreatment of a person, frequently resulting in serious emotional, mental, physical, and/or sexual injury.
@ child abuse
1 The intentional or neglectful abuse, which includes sexual mistreatment, inflicted on a child.
2 A parent or caregiver's intentional or neglectful act or failure to act that results in a child's abuse, exploitation, or death.
3 An act or failure to act that results in a possibility of immediate and serious harm to a child.
=>> abuse.
@ elder abuse
The abuse of an elderly person by his or her child or care-giver, that may include battery, verbal abuse, isolation, and the denial or deprivation of food.
@ spousal abuse
The abuse inflicted on a person by his or her spouse.
@ abuse excuse
n. A courtroom tactic whereby a criminal defendant claims that mental or physical abuse either explains the defendant's conduct, especially in cases involving violence against the alleged abuser, or makes the defendant incapable of telling right from wrong. The phrase is almost exclusively used as a term of derision by those unsympathetic to such claims.
@ abuse of discretion
n. A trial court or administrative agency's ruling on a matter within its discretion that, in light of the relevant facts and law, is arbitrary, capricious, unconscionable, unfair, unreasonable, or illegal. An appellate court will not reverse a ruling that was within the discretion of the trial court or administrative agency merely because the appellate court would have reached a different decision. Instead, the trial court or administrative agency's decision must be wholly inconsistent with the facts and the law and with any reasonable deductions that can be made therefrom.
@ abuse of process
n. The tort of beginning or otherwise using the judicial civil or criminal process for an improper purpose. There may be a legitimate basis for instituting or using the judicial process, but the actual intent behind the action is improper.
Improper use of process after it has been issued; the wrong is not in the obtaining of process, but in the manner in which it is used.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

Everything that is contrary to good order established by usage. Departure from reasonable use; immoderate or improper use. Physical or mental maltreatment. Misuse. Deception. To wrong in speech, reproach coarsely, disparage, revile, and malign.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

Everything that is contrary to good order established by usage. Departure from reasonable use; immoderate or improper use. Physical or mental maltreatment. Misuse. Deception.
To wrong in speech, reproach coarsely, disparage, revile, and malign.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

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  • abuse — noun. This has developed a sinister violent meaning, ‘maltreatment or (especially sexual) assault of a person’, and is now widely familiar in the specific context of child abuse, of which various aspects include physical abuse, domestic abuse,… …   Modern English usage

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