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 mistreatment (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

Perhaps 150,000 children went through the schools, and many were mistreated. The Economist, "Indigenous peoplesCanada’s indigenous peoples are claiming new rights and resources," 25 July 2019 Yet Chinese officials claim Ms. Meng is being mistreated. Gerard Gayou, WSJ, "Stand Up for Beijing’s Hostages," 26 June 2019 The right-wingers howl in protest at being mistreated. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show arrives with a swirl of outrage-driven hype. Don’t believe it.," 15 July 2018 Legislation known as Bill HB2671 will now raise the highest animal abuse charge from a class six felony to a class five for people who intentionally kill or mistreat an animal. Alexa Fuenmayor, azcentral, "New animal cruelty legislation goes into effect Tuesday," 27 Aug. 2019 Fired Louisville men's tennis coach Rex Ecarma allegedly bullied, discriminated against and mistreated players during his 29-year tenure with the school, an investigative report from the university revealed on Monday. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Louisville Investigation Finds Tennis Coach Rex Ecarma Bullied, Mistreated Players," 19 Aug. 2019 The facility had been accused of underpaying and mistreating workers. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Your Favorite Shows Aren’t on Netflix Anymore—Data Sheet," 12 Aug. 2019 Brooke has since taken down the unedited video on her channel, but clips from it featuring her mistreating her dog have been posted and shared on Twitter. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "YouTuber Brooke Houts Under Fire For Recent Video of Her Hitting Her Dog," 8 Aug. 2019 Oliver was sentenced for one of the counts -- for mistreating her 12-year-old. oregonlive.com, "Mom who left kids at MAX station while she went drinking gets probation," 26 June 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on mistreat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mistreat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mistreat

Spanish Central: Translation of mistreat

Nglish: Translation of mistreat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mistreat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mistreat

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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