2. The practice or act of using or doing something illegally: The governor's abuse of his power involved the buying of votes which resulted in his being prosecuted for malicious use of public funds.
3. Harsh and insulting words: The prisoner, who was on trial for murder, shouted abuses at the presiding judge accusing her of prejudice because he was a man.
4. Etymology: "to misuse, misapply", from Latin abusus, "a using up"; "misuse up"; from ab-. "away" + uti, "use".
2. To use or to treat something in a way that causes damage: Ricky abused his car by not taking proper care of it and driving excessively fast.
3. To attack someone with words: The baseball fans were verbally abusing the umpire for calling the player "out"!
4. To engage in corrupt practices or activities or to use in an unfair way: Too many politicians tend to abuse their governmental positions with actions that will increase their monetary lifestyles.
A politician should be careful not to abuse the rights and responsibilities of his or her elected office. Audits of governmental departments often unearth information suggesting that some officials misuse their privileges.
I probably should have been more precise with my discussion about “lose” and the [sic] example of “loose”. Whenever we mean that something has been lost, we should NEVER say, “I loose the hounds” or “I loosened the hounds” OR “The quarter back loosed his grip on the football” when LOST is meant!
The [sic] misuses are when people replace “lose” with “loose”. Again, I should have written, “... we NEVER loose’ anything when to lose’ is meant! They are two different verbs with different meanings and should not be confused. It’s certainly correct to say, “I let the dogs loose so they could run around (for example).” I maintain that it is unacceptable to say, “I loosed the dogs and I don’t know where they are” when “I lost the dogs .... ” is meant. Does this clarify the point?
I do appreciate the comments from readers. If nothing else, they make me aware that I must be more precise and probably should not have sent the letter out when I was so tired. It was after 2:30 a.m. (where I am) when I submitted the letter to the web and I wanted to get it out to see if it would go out properly (over the internet, that is).
For those who wrote, thank you. It means you’re paying attention and that’s better than being ignored. This reminds me of something I read recently about the “conspiracy of silence”. The phrase was coined by Sir Lewis Morris, a minor poet of the Victorian era. He wanted to be Poet Laureate in England but he never gained this honor. He claimed that critics were jealous of him and, as a result, damned his poetry when they bothered to mention it at all. He once complained at length to Oscar Wilde of this treatment, finally saying: “Oscar, there’s a conspiracy of silence against me. What shall I do?” Wilde replied simply: “Join it!”