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abuse of distress

The wrongful or unlawful use or sale of property that has been seized in order to force payment or the performance of some contractual obligation (known in law as the process of distress or distrain). It was a clear case of abuse of distress: the landlord, without a court order, changed the locks on the door and then seized and sold the tenants' belongings only an hour after serving them a notice of eviction.
See also: abuse, of

abuse of privileges

The wrongful or unlawful misuse of power in one's duties, either at the expense of others or to the advantage of the abuser. The governor displayed a flagrant abuse of privileges, channeling state funds toward a project owned by her son-in-law at the expense of more worthwhile causes. The moderator was deemed to have committed an abuse of privileges, deleting comments that opposed his own.
See also: abuse, of, privilege

be (wide) open to [abuse/criticism etc.]

to be likely to be abused, criticized etc. The system is wide open to abuse. It's a position which leaves them wide open to criticism. You don't want to lay yourself open to attack.
See also: open

abuse oneself

To masturbate.
See also: abuse
References in periodicals archive ?
Since then, officials have reduced county workers' compensation abuses from $324 million in 2003-04 to $263 million last fiscal year.
Concerns about county employee fraud, waste and abuse escalated after investigators discovered employees at Martin Luther King-Drew Medical Center were engaged in widespread workers' compensation and time-card abuses.
The survey found accusations of abuses in all but sixteen of the 177 Latin-rite dioceses in the United States.
Some months have passed since I wrote about the sexual abuse crisis in the U.
These things are about abuses of power, and educating young people about them allows them to stick up for themselves in the outside world.
At the same time, would-be mentors may fear working one-on-one with troubled young people--especially now that accusations of same-sex abuse are at an all-time high.
The parental abuses consist of: unrealistic expectations of the child's behavior, repeated name calling (no good, rotten, ugly, stupid, crazy), and deliberate humiliation in front of others (teachers, siblings, relatives, friends).
I talked to self-described survivors who had only recently remembered their past abuses, as well as those who had retracted their memories and numerous bewildered family members.
The proposed regulations do not properly balance taxpayers' need for meaningful guidance with the tax administrator's desire to prevent abuses by over-formalistic transactions.
Twenty-six (26) survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse are included in this settlement, which includes abuses beginning in the late 1960's and continuing into the early 1990's, during Cardinal Egan's tenure as Bishop with the Diocese.
Others said the anticipated lawsuits, unpleasant as they may be, would force church authorities to account for past abuses and ensure that no one is victimized again.
3) focus on the root cause of the vast majority of the abuses referred to by one writer as "the elephant in the sacristy," namely homosexual activity.
Legislation exists in most states to limit abuse against doctors who serve as hospital residents, and while such legislation has not eliminated all abuses, it has addressed some of the worst mistreatment which was once a fact of daily life.
He said he created the office's Domestic Violence Division, which investigates physical and sexual abuses against children.
The Antelope Valley still has about 22 percent of the total abuses cases in Los Angeles County.