My Webster's says
utilize |ˈyoōtlˌīz| verb [ trans. ]
make practical and effective use of :
vitamin C helps your body utilize the
iron present in your diet.
Utilize, borrowed in the 19th
century from the French : utiliser,
means 'make practical or effective use
of.' Because it is a more formal word
than use and is often used in contexts
(as in business writing) where the
ordinary verb use would be simpler and
more direct, utilize may strike
readers as pretentious jargon and
should therefore be used sparingly.
I have never heard utilize to mean "use an object for a task for which it was not intended." Indeed, when I googled the British spelling, I got this:
utilise - put into service; make work
or employ for a particular purpose or
for its inherent or natural purpose;
[Emphasis my own]
This directly contradicts your assertion of a contrary meaning for the word.