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

His attorneys argued that prosecutors in St. Louis mishandled the investigation, resulting in a criminal case being dropped Monday. Matt Pearce, latimes.com, "The lawyer who got $120,000 to bring down Missouri's GOP governor says he was told it came from a wealthy Republican," 16 May 2018 The widening interest in Facebook by the federal agencies is the latest fallout from revelations in March, when The New York Times and others reported that the world’s largest social network had mishandled the data of millions of its users. Cecilia Kang, New York Times, "Facebook Faces Broadened Federal Investigations Over Data and Privacy," 2 July 2018 The Justice Department Inspector General is now investigating if Comey mishandled classified information by giving some of those documents to a friend who then shared them with a reporter. Fox News, "Rep. Devin Nunes: DNC lawsuit 'must be a joke'," 23 Apr. 2018 An expert witness in the lawsuit filed my Mims' family testified Wednesday that police mishandled the situation and that the use of deadly force was excessive. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "Ex-Myers Park teacher testifies police shooting of his son 'didn't have to happen'," 5 Apr. 2018 However, the appellate court also found that the city mishandled another aspect of the project — closure of a right-turn lane from Sunset Boulevard onto southbound Crescent Heights Boulevard. David Zahniser, latimes.com, "Court OKs demolition of Hollywood building for Frank Gehry project, dealing a blow to preservationists," 28 Mar. 2018 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

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

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mishandle

The first known use of mishandle was in 1530

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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

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lying above or upon

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