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I am looking for a word or phrase to describe a situation where a tool or concept is being used incorrectly or underutilized.

One example would be using a screwdriver as a hammer.

Another example would be teaching a lesson but it has no value.

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    You'll have to give an example situation or sentence. – vickyace May 31 '16 at 19:35
  • One example would be using a screwdriver as a hammer. Another example would be teaching a lesson but it has no value. – John Neubaum May 31 '16 at 19:53
  • Indeed - as it stands, what's wrong with, say, used incorrectly or underutilised? – Prof Yaffle May 31 '16 at 19:53
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Simple options include misuse and misapply defined by Merriam Webster as follows.

Misuse and its synonym misapply meaning

To use incorrectly

Also try misemploy.

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