mis·​han·​dle | \ (ˌ)mis-ˈhan-dᵊl How to pronounce mishandle (audio) \
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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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 But models tend to mishandle the negative feedback of more sun-blocking clouds that has worked since creation. Andy Kessler, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2021 Some of the uptick in bear nuisance reports is caused by campers who mishandle their food. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, 3 Aug. 2020 Yet many in Japan are inclined to blame China for mishandling the early stages of the outbreak and Abe for not blocking visitors from China sooner. Isabel Reynolds, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 Crozier’s abrupt firing by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly ultimately cost Modly his job as well for mishandling the relief of command and for his subsequent tirade delivered to the crew of the ship. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, 15 Apr. 2020 Washington and Beijing have blamed one another for mishandling the spread of coronavirus as each country grapples with the pandemic's widening fallout that has battered the world's two largest economies. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 20 Mar. 2020 The Administration could credibly have criticized China’s early mishandling of the virus, and its efforts to control international scrutiny of the virus’s origins. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 10 May 2020 After China mishandled and hid the virus from the public, the epidemic dramatically worsened. Ken Paulson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Mar. 2020 The beneficiaries sued for $748 million to restore their pension fund after discovering that, in 2008, managers mishandled money, violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and leaving their plan underfunded. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, 14 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mishandle

Time Traveler

The first known use of mishandle was in 1530

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Statistics for mishandle

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mishandle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mishandle. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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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