mis·han·dle | \ -ˈhan-dᵊl \
mishandled; mishandling; mishandles

Definition of mishandle 

transitive verb

1 : to treat roughly : maltreat

2 : to deal with or manage wrongly or ignorantly

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Synonyms for mishandle


maltreat, manhandle, maul, rough (up)

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Examples of mishandle in a Sentence

The police mishandled the investigation. Apples are easily bruised when they are mishandled. The shortstop mishandled the throw. The quarterback fumbled when he mishandled the snap.
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Recent Examples on the Web

China’s fear may now be that if frictions worsen with America, Mr Xi could be blamed at home for mishandling a crucial relationship. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 That report came off the heels of police apologizing for mishandling a case in May where another woman said her drink was drugged at a rooftop bar at the venue. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Police are investigating new drink tampering report. This time in Plaza Midwood.," 20 June 2018 In July 2015, Fiat Chrysler agreed to a $105 million settlement for mishandling nearly two dozen recall campaigns covering 11 million vehicles. NBC News, "Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million U.S. vehicles for cruise control defect," 25 May 2018 Each time the social media giant has been called out for mishandling people's data, Zuckerberg smoothed things over by promising to give users more control over their personal information. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has promised to protect user privacy before. Will this time be different?," 10 Apr. 2018 Madkour said Hingson's motions were intended to exploit controversies that have swirled around the Sheriff's Office since last year when a veteran detective was convicted of official misconduct for mishandling criminal cases. Noelle Crombie, OregonLive.com, "Clackamas County judge quashes subpoena for district attorney, sheriff," 21 Mar. 2018 The Seahawks are fined $100,000 for mishandling the concussion protocol with Russell Wilson. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "100 Defining Moments of the 2017 Season," 25 Jan. 2018 The pizza titan's fall comes after months of controversy, including an endorsement by white supremacists and an insinuation by Schnatter that the NFL mishandled protests around the national anthem. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Fallout over Papa John's N-word scandal: Here's what we know," 12 July 2018 Against Blackburn in the second, Correa crushed an RBI triple that Mark Canha mishandled in left field, allowing both Marisnick and Springer to scoot home. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Evan almighty: Gattis goes on another rampage as Astros wallop Athletics," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mishandle.' 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 mishandle

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mishandle

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for mishandle

The first known use of mishandle was in 1530

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More Definitions for mishandle



English Language Learners Definition of mishandle

: to deal with or manage (something) badly or incorrectly

: to touch or treat (something) in a way that causes damage

sports : to fail to catch or hold (a ball) properly

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Comments on mishandle

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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