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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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

Related pitches have been made by lawmakers including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who proposed a bill in the fall that would jail executives who mishandle consumer data. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Democratic senators have introduced a big new data privacy plan," 12 Dec. 2018 This year, the office fined major companies including Facebook Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. for mishandling data. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Marriott Says Starwood Data Breach Affects Up to 500 Million People," 30 Nov. 2018 Google has struggled with its own API scandal, facing outcry over third-party email apps mishandling Gmail users’ data. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter partner for ambitious new data project," 20 July 2018 And in 2012, DJT, the steakhouse at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, was forced to shut down briefly when inspectors found more than 50 violations, including ones regarding expired and mishandled food. Adam Edelman /, NBC News, "Trump attacks 'filthy' Red Hen, the Virginia restaurant that asked Sarah Sanders to leave," 25 June 2018 And third, there are signs of internal grumbling among Chinese elites that Mr. Xi has mishandled the crucial U.S. relationship. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "How a History of Discord Fuels Today’s U.S.-China Trade Tensions," 26 Nov. 2018 The 55-year-old sued The Management Group in January 2017, accusing it of mishandling his money, costing him millions. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Johnny Depp settles lawsuit with former business managers, report says," 16 July 2018 McCaskill said Hawley had mishandled investigations involving Greitens. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "‘She’s a real prosecutor.’ McCaskill praises former staffer overseeing Greitens probe," 30 May 2018 Republicans still hammered Clinton for it and demanded criminal investigations for mishandling classified information. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Conservatives Conned James Comey," 15 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

16 Jan 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on mishandle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mishandle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mishandle

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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
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