These verbs mean to treat wrongfully or harmfully. Abuse applies to injurious or improper treatment: “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us” (Aldo Leopold). Misuse stresses incorrect or unknowledgeable handling: “How often misused words generate misleading thoughts” (Herbert Spencer). Mistreat, ill-treat, and maltreat all share the sense of inflicting injury, often intentionally: “I had seen many more patients die from being mistreated for consumption than from consumption itself” (Earl of Lytton). The army had orders not to ill-treat the prisoners.“When we misuse [a language other than our native language], we are in fact trying to reduce its element of foreignness. We let ourselves maltreat it as though it naturally belonged to us” (Manchester Guardian Weekly).
His book on Materialism and Empiric Criticism (1909) heaps abuse on idealistic philosophers and religious teachers of all schools and creeds.
It is easy to see that such conclusions ignore important distinctions, and are, indeed, to a large extent an abuse of language.
The idea of encouraging the citizens to assist in the detection of crime or treason against the state was commendable; it was not the use, but the abuse of the privilege that was so injurious.
The object is the protection of widows and orphans, but the right has been very much abused, and its abuse is in part responsible for the high rate of interest which prevails.
The reprint (3 vols.) edited for the "Pulteney Library" by Hazlitt in 1840-1843 contains a good and full life mainly derived from Wilson, the whole of the novels (including the Serious Reflections now hardly ever published with Robinson Crusoe), Jure Divino, The Use and Abuse of Marriage, and many of the more important tracts and smaller works.