To put to a wrong use; to misapply; to misuse; to put to a bad use; to use for a wrong purpose or end; to pervert; as, to abuse inherited gold; to make an excessive use of; as, to abuse one's authority.
Improper treatment or use; application to a wrong or bad purpose; misuse; as, an abuse of our natural powers; an abuse of civil rights, or of privileges or advantages; an abuse of language.
When used as a legal term in healthcare, it normally refers to actions that do not involve intentional misrepresentations in billing but which, nevertheless, result in improper conduct. Consequences can result in civil liability and administrative sanctions. An example of abuse is the excessive use of medical supplies. (also see Fraud, OIG, FBI, Compliance)