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

South Alabama mishandled another snap on a 46-yard field goal attempt in the second, but drove 90 yards for a touchdown late in the quarter. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "South Alabama cranks up running game for 37-14 win over Jackson State," 8 Sep. 2019 Bare, who responded to a 911 call about a fistfight between Thakuri and his brother near Federal Boulevard in Westminster, extremely mishandled his response, according to the lawsuit. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Family, estate of Nepalese man shot dead by Westminster officer file federal lawsuit," 23 Aug. 2019 Rockwell International, the contractor that operated the plant, pleaded guilty to criminal charges that included mishandling chemical and radioactive material. Washington Post, "US can’t find files on investigation into nuclear arms plant," 30 July 2019 In February, the district attorney’s office dropped charges against three deputies accused of arranging gladiator-style battles between inmates after learning that the Sheriff’s Department mishandled the internal investigation. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Amid a cloud of misconduct cases, SF Sheriff’s Department invites outside oversight," 12 Aug. 2019 On Friday, June 21, 2019, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin suggested Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx mishandled the case by recusing herself and then ordering a top assistant to handle the case. Washington Post, "Police release hundreds of files from Smollett investigation," 24 June 2019 The scandal also led to the expulsion of 11 students and the resignation of a district administrator, who said officials mishandled the case. Alexa Díazstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Riverside student hacks into school computers and changes grades, authorities say," 5 Aug. 2019 But that case was jeopardized by government and state police mishandling of evidence, according to a federal judge. oregonlive.com, "Feds won’t pursue death penalty in Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle kidnapping, murder conspiracy cases," 26 July 2019 Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said Friday that more than 300 additional people have had their licenses suspended as a result of a review of mishandling of notifications from other states to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "State officials say hundreds more licenses have been suspended in RMV probe," 5 July 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

11 Sep 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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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