abuse of authority

GC: n

S: UNESCO – http://www.unesco.org/new/en/ethics-office/harassment-and-abuse-of-power-and-authority/ (last access: 1st January 2014); UN – http://goo.gl/j3nMSD (last access: 1 September 2014).

N: 1. – abuse (n): mid-15c., “improper practice,” from Old French abus (14c.), from Latin abusus “a using up”. From 1570s as “violation, defilement” (surviving in self-abuse “masturbation,” if at all). In reference to drugs by 1961. Modern use in reference to unwanted sexual activity is from late 20c. Earlier in Middle English was abusion “wicked act or practice, shameful thing, violation of decency” (early 14c.), “an insult” (mid-14c.), from Old French abusion, from Latin abusio.
– of (prep): Old English of, unstressed form of æf (prep., adv.) “away, away from,” from Proto-Germanic *af (source also of Old Norse af, Old Frisian af, of “of,” Dutch af “off, down,” German ab “off, from, down”), from PIE root *apo- “off, away.” Primary sense in Old English still was “away,” but shifted in Middle English with use of the word to translate Latin de, ex, and especially Old French de, which had come to be the substitute for the genitive case. “Of shares with another word of the same length, as, the evil glory of being accessory to more crimes against grammar than any other.” (Fowler)
Also from 1837 a non-standard or dialectal representation of have as pronounced in unstressed positions (could of, must of, etc.)
– authority (n): c. 1200, autorite, auctorite “authoritative passage or statement, book or quotation that settles an argument, passage from Scripture,” from Old French autorité, auctorité “authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures” (12c.; Modern French autorité), from Latin auctoritatem (nominative auctoritas) “invention, advice, opinion, influence, command,” from auctor “master, leader, author”. Usually spelled with a –c– in English before 16c., when the letter was dropped in imitation of French, then with a –th-, probably by influence of authentic.
2. The abuse of authority is the improper use of a position of influence, power or authority by a staff member or non-staff personnel against another staff member or non-staff personnel or a group thereof. This is particularly serious when the person in question uses his or her influence, power or authority to arbitrarily influence the career or employment conditions (including, but not limited to, appointment, assignment, contract renewal, performance evaluation or promotion) of another staff member or non-staff
3. Abuse of authority can include a one-time incident or a series of incidents. It may also consist of conduct that creates a hostile or offensive work environment, which includes, but is not limited to, the use of intimidation, threats, blackmail or coercion.
4. Abuse of power is the misuse of authority in the course of performing work.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=abuse+of+authority; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=of (last access: 21 July 2017). 2 & 3. UN – http://goo.gl/j3nMSD (last access: 1 September 2014). 4. WB – http://goo.gl/a3Zz5y (last access: 1 September 2014).

SYN: 1. oppression, misuse of authority, abuse of discretion, undue influence. 2. abuse of office, misuse of authority, abuse of power, misuse of power.

S: 1. GDT – http://www.granddictionnaire.com/ficheOqlf.aspx?Id_Fiche=8366774 (last access: 1 September 2014). 2. TERMUM PLUS – http://goo.gl/F3X8Ws (last access: 1 September 2014).

CR: breach of trust, sexual abuse.