mis·​treat | \ ˌmis-ˈtrēt How to pronounce mistreat (audio) \
mistreated; mistreating; mistreats

Definition of mistreat

transitive verb

: to treat badly : abuse

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Other Words from mistreat

mistreatment \ ˌmis-​ˈtrēt-​mənt How to pronounce mistreat (audio) \ noun

Examples of mistreat in a Sentence

They accuse him of mistreating his wife. She claimed she had been mistreated by the police.
Recent Examples on the Web Kyrie Irving says banning fans who mistreat NBA players won't solve the problem. CBS News, 31 May 2021 Why did Tolstoy, proponent of Christian charity and chastity, so mistreat his wife and so endlessly get her pregnant? Lisa Zeidner, Star Tribune, 8 Feb. 2021 In his first public comments on the case, police Superintendent David Brown also sent a stern message to officers who mistreat citizens such as Young during similar warrant checks. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 17 Dec. 2020 Notably, said the officials, the OCC handled the matter itself and without help from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — an agency created to ensure that financial firms do not mistreat ordinary customers. Patrick Rucker, ProPublica, 14 Dec. 2020 Even if detailed statistics were hard to come by, organizations and countries, from the United Nations to the European Union, France and Britain, all said that the pandemic had so far been an additional source for men to mistreat women. Raf Casert And Angela Charlton, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2020 Hilton and others at the protest vowed to push forward until all schools that mistreat youth are shut down. Brady Mccombs And Lindsay Whitehurst, Star Tribune, 9 Oct. 2020 In a just world, managers who mistreat their employees would face certain barriers to success. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, 12 Aug. 2020 In the Monmouth poll and in another released this week by CBS News, exactly 57 percent of Americans said police officers were generally more likely to treat black people unfairly than to mistreat white people. Giovanni Russonello, BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mistreat.' 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 mistreat

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mistreat

Time Traveler

The first known use of mistreat was in the 15th century

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Statistics for mistreat

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mistreat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistreat. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for mistreat



English Language Learners Definition of mistreat

: to treat (someone or something) badly


mis·​treat | \ mis-ˈtrēt How to pronounce mistreat (audio) \
mistreated; mistreating

Kids Definition of mistreat

: to handle, use, or act toward in a harsh way : abuse


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