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

The case, which goes back more than a decade, has political implications because of allegations that Alexander Acosta, who is now President Trump's labor secretary, mishandled the investigation into Epstein when Acosta was a US attorney. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for July 9: Kim Darroch, Jeffrey Epstein, Hong Kong, tropical system," 9 July 2019 In the suit, Luster Harrison argued she was denied her constitutional right of access to the courts because the police mishandling of evidence hindered her from discovering and pressing charges against her attacker. Benjamin Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Federal judge partially rejects LMPD's motion to dismiss rape investigation lawsuit," 20 June 2019 The lawsuit comes after FedEx mishandled deliveries for Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment company Huawei. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "FedEx lawsuit; Powell speech; Markets fall," 25 June 2019 Brault, a left-hander who is scheduled to start Sunday against the Padres, was pinch-running for Jung Ho Kang, who reached second base on a slow grounder to third base that Machado mishandled and then fired wide of first. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Machado’s errors, San Diegans help Pirates beat Padres," 22 June 2019 Reuters/Jim Young Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg admitted for the first time that his company mishandled concerns over its 737 Max aircraft. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Boeing CEO admits mistakes were made," 16 June 2019 The negative headlines continue for UCLA, which has been sued by three former football players who allege ex-coach Jim Mora and others mishandled their injuries. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: NBA Draft decisions strip conference of top underclassmen, point to more young lineups in 2020," 3 June 2019 Delegates representing the nation's largest Protestant denomination will likely vote on establishing criteria for expelling churches that mishandle or cover up abuse allegations. Fox News, "Sex abuse crisis tops agenda as Southern Baptists convene," 9 June 2019 Inside the meeting hall in Birmingham, Alabama, delegates representing the nation's largest Protestant denomination will likely vote on establishing criteria for expelling churches that mishandle or cover up abuse allegations. David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Sex abuse crisis tops agenda as Southern Baptists convene," 8 June 2019

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

17 Jul 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 complain fretfully

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