mis·treat | \ˌmis-ˈtrēt \
mistreated; mistreating; mistreats

Definition of mistreat 

transitive verb

: to treat badly : abuse

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Other Words from mistreat

mistreatment \-mənt \ 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

Handmaids — women assigned to high ranking, infertile married couples and forced to act as surrogates for their children — are raped, beaten, and generally mistreated at will. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Still Has A White Female Privilege Problem," 11 July 2018 Pregnant women in immigration detention allegedly are often denied medical care, shackled, and psychologically and physically mistreated, according to a report published by BuzzFeed News. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Pregnant Women Are Allegedly Being Denied Medical Care in Immigration Detention Centers," 10 July 2018 The allegations have incensed the public as local media reported leaked voice recordings and videos purporting to show Cho family members mistreating Korean Air employees. Washington Post, "Korean Air heiress apologizes before police questioning," 1 May 2018 Walmart Spokesperson Bao Nguyen told Newsweek the company, which is often criticized for underpaying and mistreating its employees, disabled the item listing Tuesday after receiving multiple complaints. Katie J.m. Baker, Newsweek, "Walmart Removes Fake Banksy 'Destroy Capitalism' Print," 4 Dec. 2013 Critics say the Education Department has backed off from going after for-profit institutions and loan servicers that mistreat students. Jon Marcus /, NBC News, "As the Trump administration pulls back, states step in to regulate questionable colleges," 6 July 2018 Court documents and social media posts written by Ramos paint a portrait of an angry, frustrated man fuming about how he’d been mistreated and maligned. Washington Post, "Newspaper shooting suspect’s grievances began with classmate," 29 June 2018 Other than afford you the honor and privilege to serve alongside some of the most noble men and women that this city has to offer, how have you been mistreated? Monique Judge, The Root, "Black Firefighter Being Burned For Kneeling During the National Anthem," 6 June 2018 And then Danielle [Brooks] sends us through a group text that something like this actually happened recently in a prison where the prisoners took over the prison because of the way they were being mistreated. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Drops First Teaser for Season 6 of "Orange Is the New Black"," 5 June 2018

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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Statistics for mistreat

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mistreat

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

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More Definitions for mistreat



English Language Learners Definition of mistreat

: to treat (someone or something) badly


mis·treat | \mis-ˈtrēt \
mistreated; mistreating

Kids Definition of mistreat

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

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Comments on mistreat

What made you want to look up mistreat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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