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

Definition of mistreat

transitive verb

: to treat badly : abuse

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 Parents of kids with visible and apparent disabilities naturally worry that their unusual appearance and behaviors will cause others to exclude and mistreat them. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 24 Apr. 2022 People may mistreat or discriminate against LGBTQ youth in school, religious congregations or other community spaces. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 29 June 2022 Gerri is made interim CEO, and Shiv continued to mistreat her husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), while solidifying herself as a corporate power player. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 9 June 2022 And there is a widespread sense that officers still mistreat people with impunity. New York Times, 25 May 2022 In traditional Asian households, you’re often taught to hold your feelings inside, especially when people mistreat you. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 18 May 2022 And how Frances does really mistreat her in many ways, without realizing she’s hurting her. ELLE, 19 Apr. 2022 People often assume that abusive people mistreat everyone, but some discriminate in their abuse. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 31 Jan. 2022 Often, it’s one or more abusive managers or employees that have been allowed free rein to belittle and mistreat others. Lynne Curry | Alaska Workplace, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of mistreat

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Last Updated

21 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mistreat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistreat. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mistreat


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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