1 of 2


: a heavy often wooden-headed hammer used especially for driving wedges
also : a tool like a sledgehammer with one wedge-shaped end that is used to split wood


2 of 2


mauled; mauling; mauls

transitive verb

: to handle roughly
mauler noun

Example Sentences

Verb A bear killed one hiker and badly mauled the other. demonstrators who claimed that they had been mauled by the police
Recent Examples on the Web
Fiskars Pro IsoCore Generations of log-splitters have felt the sting of a maul handle during missed swings. The Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 29 Dec. 2020 Michael James Kilgo, now 63, struck Hattie Labuff-Kilgo on the head with a wood splitting maul and then tried to burn her body to hide the crime, according to Palmer District Attorney Melissa Wininger-Howard. Anchorage Daily News, 24 Oct. 2022 York then allegedly threw a lighter at the family member and chased both with a maul. Fox News, 1 Sep. 2021 The constant tone of derision in all their conversations would split them apart faster than a maul splits a log. Dominic Pino, National Review, 27 May 2021 Did a Bigfoot maul and kill three men on a cannabis farm in Northern California? Ew Staff,, 20 Apr. 2021 Years of experience lends one the ability to look at a chunk of wood and figure out where the knots are and where to strike and split with the splitting maul. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Apr. 2020 Paylor, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound sophomore lock, was dragged down by the neck by an opponent, who held Paylor’s neck in the crook of his arm as the maul (a cluster of players) collapsed. Scott Ostler,, 12 Apr. 2020 This time the ball was adjudged to have been passed forward in the maul -- a controversial decision which left English supporters in the crowd shaking their heads. Matias Grez, CNN, 26 Oct. 2019
Can maul like an interior lineman, but his athleticism is best suited for tackle. Globe Staff,, 22 Apr. 2022 These lapses maul the credibility of the mainstream media at a time when critics see them as straightforward confirmation of their suspicions: that collusive media outlets assign false narratives to their foot soldiers. Washington Post, 1 May 2021 Jon Gruden has constructed an impressive offense that can strike deep, QB Derek Carr now armed with an array of downfield options, and/or simply maul opponents with jackhammer RB Josh Jacobs. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2020 Teams with simple schemes and strong veteran cores have generally fared better, but only when the coronavirus doesn’t maul their depth charts. Laine Higgins, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2020 Mark Matheny might not have survived had not his hunting partner emptied the contents of a pepper-spray canister into the face of the bear that was mauling him. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, 27 May 2020 Hooper, 25, is a solid but not stunning in-line blocker, who is better suited to chipping defenders than mauling them. Jim Mcbride,, 18 Jan. 2020 The Tigers have been mauling opponents for the last two months, but the ACC has not provided Clemson any top-flight competition. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, 8 Dec. 2019 The lone win came in Houston in 2018, when the Tigers mauled him with four home runs in a 6-3 victory. Chris Thomas, Detroit Free Press, 21 Aug. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maul.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English malle mace, maul, from Anglo-French mail, from Latin malleus; akin to Old Church Slavonic mlatŭ hammer, Latin molere to grind — more at meal

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of maul was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near maul

Cite this Entry

“Maul.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a heavy hammer often with a wooden head used especially for driving wedges or posts


2 of 2 verb
: to beat and bruise severely
: to handle roughly
mauler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on maul

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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