\ 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

Milton worked the ball into the offensive zone pretty steadily and scored on mauls near the goal line. Nate Weitzer,, "A perfect finish for Milton boys’ rugby: back-to-back D2 champs," 22 June 2019 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

Biologists have taken bear DNA samples from the site where an Eagle River man's body was found and another man was mauled June 20. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Trail has gone cold’: Bear traps no longer set in wake of Eagle River maulings," 2 July 2018 In 1993, Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, 49, of the Cleveland suburb of Euclid, allegedly abandoned her baby shortly after he was born, leaving the child’s body to be mauled by animals and dragged onto a roadway, say authorities. Kc Baker,, "Ohio Mom Accused of Leaving Baby to Die in Woods in 1993 Allegedly Admits to 'Similar Crime'," 7 June 2019 The austerity measures were part of an ambitious economic reform program intended to revive the country’s economy mauled by years of political turmoil and violence. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Egypt’s leader raises minimum wage by 67 percent," 30 Mar. 2019 So far this year, a bear bit a hiker in Aspen, and a sow mauled an 85-year-old woman in Craig, Clay said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Independence Day campers beware: Bears can smell your fruity hand sanitizer five miles away," 2 July 2019 The Portuguese division was at barely half-strength and had been badly mauled. Laurent Rebours, Houston Chronicle, "AP PHOTOS: Then and now: France's World War I battle-scape," 24 May 2018 Morgan is getting mauled and Rapinoe has vanished from the game on the left. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "U.S. Holds Off an Ascendant Spain, for Now, at Women’s World Cup," 24 June 2019 Powerful air armadas scourged German defenses, with 750 to 1000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators mauling bridges, railroad targets and airfields in an arc 100 to 150 miles south of the beachhead. Houston Chronicle, "FIRST INVASION GOAL REACHED," 9 June 2019 Bears and people sometimes cross paths disastrously: Last year two Nunavut men were mauled to death. Paul Nicklen, National Geographic, "Should polar bear hunting be legal? It’s complicated.," 28 May 2019

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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Statistics for maul

Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maul

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

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More Definitions for maul



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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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