Disabuse, misuse and abuse

Disabuse means to convince someone of the inaccuracy of a belief or notion. Disabuse is a transitive verb, it is used with an object. The first known use of disabuse was 1611.

Misuse means to use something in an incorrect fashion or for the wrong purpose. Misuse also means to treat someone poorly or unfairly. Misuse is also a transitive verb, it is used with an object. The first known use of the word misuse was in the fourteenth century.


Abuse means to use incorrectly or wrongly, to inflict mental or physical pain. Abuse can also mean to use something in an incorrect fashion or for the wrong purpose, such as an abuse of power. Abuse may also mean excessive use of alcohol or drugs, especially illegal drugs. Abuse is a transitive verb, used with an object and also an intransitive verb. Abuse may also be used as a noun.


From Browne’s example we can learn “how to achieve a reconciliation between science and religion” and “how to disabuse the credulous of their foolish beliefs.” (The New York Times)

Walking away won’t only convince critics of the negotiations on Capitol Hill and abroad that President Obama and Kerry are serious about holding Iran’s feet to the fire by refusing to yield on critical issues in the pact, but it will also disabuse Iranian officials of any notion that they sit in a superior negotiating position. (The Boston Herald)

Other violations targeted include the misuse of public vehicles for private purposes, as well as handing out funds, benefits or gifts in violation of party rules, and organizing lavish weddings, parties or funerals. (International Business Times)

Racing NSW’s firm stance on the issue coincides with the release of an English university study that highlights the ­risks posed to horses by the misuse of cobalt chloride, a banned performance-enhancing agent that has been used illegally in Australia and the US. (The Daily Telegraph)

Luzerne County ranks among the top nine statewide in the number of recorded fatalities or near-fatalities resulting from child abuse or neglect, according to a recent report that reviewed data from Jan. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2014. (The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader)

The New Zealand high court judge chairing a UK inquiry into child abuse is to receive a pay package worth £500,000 a year, it has been disclosed. (The Guardian)


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