\ˈtrēt \
treated; treating; treats

Definition of treat 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to deal with in speech or writing : expound

b : to present or represent artistically

c : to deal with : handle food is plentiful and treated with imagination— Cecil Beaton

2a : to bear oneself toward : use treat a horse cruelly

b : to regard and deal with in a specified manner usually used with as treat the matter as confidential

3a : to provide with free food, drink, or entertainment they treated us to lunch

b : to provide with enjoyment or gratification

4 : to care for or deal with medically or surgically treat a disease

5 : to act upon with some agent especially to improve or alter treat a metal with acid

intransitive verb

1 : to pay another's expenses (as for a meal or drink) especially as a compliment or as an expression of regard or friendship

2 : to discuss terms of accommodation or settlement : negotiate

3 : to deal with a matter especially in writing : discourse usually used with of a book treating of conservation



Definition of treat (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of providing another with free food, drink, or entertainment dinner will be my treat

b : an entertainment given without expense to those invited

2 : an especially unexpected source of joy, delight, or amusement seeing her again was a treat

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Other Words from treat


treater noun

Examples of treat in a Sentence


The author treats this issue in the next chapter. This situation must be treated with great care. I try to treat everyone equally. She treats the horse cruelly. They treated me like a member of their family. I was treated like a queen. My parents still treat me like a child. Try to treat everyone as an equal. Young people should always treat their elders with respect. Let's go out to dinner. I'll treat.


We took the kids to the water park as a special treat. cookies and other tasty treats She rewarded the dog with a treat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both the Kia driver, 26-year-old Daniel Mclaughlin from Falmouth, and Jeep driver, 22-year-old Camille Rogers from Ithaca, N.Y., were treated at the scene by Wellfleet and Eastham fire department personnel, police said. Lucas Phillips,, "Head-on collision on Route 6 in Wellfleet leaves two hospitalized," 14 July 2018 Read more: Police later learned from a local hospital that a gunshot victim had arrived at the hospital, but fled prior to being treated. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Police investigate two fatal shootings on city's east side," 14 July 2018 That’s why Florida wouldn’t let Hawkins sit for the Florida Bar exam, but 11 years later, the Florida Supreme Court decided that Hawkins had been unfairly treated and should be given a license to practice — without taking the test. Lauren Ritchie,, "Lake County owes Virgil Hawkins recognition and a thank you for role in civil rights struggle," 12 July 2018 With third degree burns on his face and arms, Childress became the first patient to be treated at the Virginia Commonwealth University medical center for an injury caused by the toxic giant hogweed plant, the hospital told WWBT. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "A Virginia Teen Suffered Third Degree Burns After Encountering a Giant Hogweed Plant," 13 July 2018 People had to fight for their right to be treated as humans. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Papa John said Colonel Sanders used the N-word. Was KFC's icon racist?," 13 July 2018 There have been far fewer attempts made to treat Democrats as a foreign tribe, to eat their food and understand their folkways. The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 Ragin was taken to Grady Hospital to be treated for injuries and was later arrested on two counts of battery, authorities said., "NFL Star Pacman Jones Knocks Down Airport Worker Who Attacked Him on Video," 12 July 2018 He was taken to the hospital later that night, where he was treated for a fractured leg and facial cuts. Talia Richman,, "'I only ever wanted justice,' says 18-year-old allegedly assaulted by Baltimore officer," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite the occasional creak, the play’s wit and complex characters, as well as a couple of terrific 1920s gowns, are a treat. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "12 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 For flaky pastry made at home, Cherry Almond Tart is a real treat. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 But each one shines individually, and the variety among Brubaker’s six different realizations of the Riley is a particular treat. Joshua Kosman,, "CD review: ‘Codex’ by Bruce Brubaker," 11 July 2018 Trek Travel’s Blackberry Farm Bike Tour ($6,399) Riding bikes in the great Smoky Mountains is a treat in itself. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Food Adventures We Covet Most," 5 July 2018 To have both these films on the same double bill is a wonderful treat indeed. Kenneth Turan,, "The Lubitsch touch comes to Westwood," 4 July 2018 Some games, such as Sid Meier's Civilization, are a real treat to play on the Portrait Display. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 2018 Picking ripe, juicy cherries, raspberries and blueberries at the same time — from the same orchard or garden — is quite a treat. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "It’s a June thing: Cherries, blueberries and raspberries are all ripe right now," 28 June 2018 There is a special treat on Friday, July 20, with a presentation of Shakespeare in the Park. Sara Ervin Walser, Laurel Leader, "Nature programs at Patuxent Research in full swing [South Laurel/Montpelier]," 28 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for treat


Middle English treten, from Anglo-French treter, traiter, traitier, from Latin tractare to drag about, handle, deal with, frequentative of trahere to drag, pull

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Statistics for treat

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for treat

The first known use of treat was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for treat



English Language Learners Definition of treat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to deal with or think about (something) especially in a particular way

: to think of and act toward (someone or something) in a specified way

: to pay for someone's food, drink, or entertainment



English Language Learners Definition of treat (Entry 2 of 2)

: an occurrence in which you pay for someone's food, drink, or entertainment

: something pleasant or amusing that is unusual or unexpected

: something that tastes good and that is not eaten often


\ˈtrēt \
treated; treating

Kids Definition of treat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to handle, deal with, use, or act toward in a usually stated way Treat this as secret. … “Don't you think that is a cruel way to treat Wanda?” …— Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses

2 : to pay for the food or entertainment of I'll treat you to dinner.

3 : to give medical or surgical care to : use medical care on The patient was treated for fever. Doctors sometimes treat cancer with drugs.

4 : to expose to some action (as of a chemical) Gardeners treat soil with lime.



Kids Definition of treat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an often unexpected or unusual source of pleasure or amusement The day at the park was a treat.

2 : a food that tastes very good and is not eaten very often

3 : an instance of paying for someone's food or entertainment Dinner is my treat.

\ˈtrēt \

Medical Definition of treat 

: to care for or deal with medically or surgically : deal with by medical or surgical means treated their diseases treats a patient

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Comments on treat

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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