\ ˈmȯl How to pronounce maul (audio) \

Definition of maul

 (Entry 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


mauled; mauling; mauls

Definition of maul (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : beat, bruise
3 : to handle roughly

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Other Words from maul


mauler noun

Examples of maul in a Sentence


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: Noun

Each time a beam was laid down, Ole laid down caulking and then drove in big metal spikes with a maul to hold the timbers together. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "At Sparta's Grapevine Log Cabins, a bed and breakfast comes with a side of a working dairy farm," 23 Feb. 2018 Police also found a sock that the killer may have used when holding the maul. USA TODAY, "For sale: New York home where unsolved ax murder took place," 29 Sep. 2017 The ax and a maul, used for splitting wood, were found in the home. USA TODAY, "For sale: New York home where unsolved ax murder took place," 29 Sep. 2017 Paylor’s injury occurred during a maul, according to the Mercury News, which is when a group of players crunches together to create forward momentum on the player with the ball, while their opponents bind similarly and push back. Marissa Payne, The Denver Post, "Cal-Berkeley rugby player paralyzed after accident in national championship game," 11 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson’s South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition. Ralph D. Russo, The Seattle Times, "Orange Crush: Clemson topples No. 1 ‘Bama for national title," 8 Jan. 2019 And while Europeans may have only counted their African conscripts and calculated their value as tools, one image, a handwritten ledger, lists causes of death—typhus, blackwater fever, mauled by a lion—along with their names. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Head & the Load’ and ‘Greek’ Reviews," 10 Dec. 2018 Mugginess may maul us by Monday, with triple digit heat-index levels through Tuesday. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Some more nice weather before midsummer rushes in — enjoy it while it lasts!," 15 June 2018 There have been prominent cases of abuse of Filipino domestic workers in the past, including an incident in December 2014 where a Kuwaiti’s pet lions fatally mauled a Filipina maid. Time, "The Philippines Ambassador Spoke Out About the Abuse of Maids in Kuwait. Kuwait Responded by Expelling Him," 25 Apr. 2018 An 8-day-old Virginia baby girl was killed by a wolf-hybrid dog that mauled her to death on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. Chris Harris,, "8-Day-Old Baby Girl Mauled to Death by Wolf-Hybrid Dog While Laying in Bassinet," 9 Mar. 2018 Alabama has mauled its opponents all season and winning games had become not a question of if, but by how much. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Unlikely Hero Who Saved Alabama’s Season," 1 Dec. 2018 Later in the day, a Kenyan fisherman was also mauled by another hippo a few miles from where the initial incident occurred, police said. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Hippo attacks in Kenya kill 2, including Taiwan tourist taking pictures, authorities say," 13 Aug. 2018 Greg Gottesman, who spent 20 years as a venture capitalist, came up with the idea after his Labrador was mauled at a local kennel. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The startup world’s cuddly, cutthroat battle to walk your dog," 12 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of maul


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maul

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

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Time Traveler for maul

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

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English Language Learners Definition of maul

: to attack and injure (someone) in a way that cuts or tears skin : to attack (someone) and cause a bloody injury
: to touch or handle (someone) in a rough sexual way


\ ˈmȯl How to pronounce maul (audio) \

Kids Definition of maul

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a heavy hammer used especially for driving wedges or posts
2 : a sledgehammer with one wedge-shaped end that is used to split wood


mauled; mauling

Kids Definition of maul (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to attack and injure by biting, cutting, or tearing flesh Not wishing to be mauled by the dogs … Curly had remained outside the gate …— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
2 : to handle roughly

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More from Merriam-Webster on maul

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maul

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maul

Spanish Central: Translation of maul

Nglish: Translation of maul for Spanish Speakers

Comments on maul

What made you want to look up maul? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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