\ ˈtrēt How to pronounce treat (audio) \
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 astreat 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 ofa 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

Synonyms for treat

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of treat in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 The school system had previously announced that any student found with CBD or THC oils will be treated as committing one of the the most serious disciplinary violations. Leada Gore |, al, "Vaping crackdown: School system will send e-cigarette users to alternative school," 13 Jan. 2020 Under Roffman’s guidance, sexuality at Park has come to be treated as something closer to social studies, science, or other core subjects. Sarah Carr, The Atlantic, "What Sex Ed Could Be," 13 Jan. 2020 China has flown military planes around the island, bullied and cajoled more of its few diplomatic allies into switching recognition to Beijing, and punished companies that treat Taiwan as separate from China. The Economist, "The Economist explains What is at stake in the Taiwan election?," 10 Jan. 2020 The United States had supported the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, and autocrats like him for decades, and had treated the Brotherhood as dangerous fanatics. New York Times, "Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future," 9 Jan. 2020 Trained to treat the faux food as real, the bespectacled creatures struck out again and again. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Velcroed 3-D Glasses to Cuttlefish to Study Their Depth Perception," 8 Jan. 2020 The Sussex parcel has become an anomaly in the downtown area, a throwback to when the dry riverbed was treated as a junkyard by residents. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Clock is ticking for Tempe 'squatter' Steve Sussex after Arizona Supreme Court refuses to take appeal," 8 Jan. 2020 As the world reacts to the U.S. military’s killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, many experts are predicting Iran will treat the incident as an act of war. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Lost a (Fictional) War With Iran 18 Years Ago," 3 Jan. 2020 Were the Spurs further out of the hunt, Popovich might be more apt to follow Kerr’s lead and treat this as a developmental season. Jeff Mcdonald,, "San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr taking different approaches amid tough seasons," 30 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many dog treats and rawhides are high in calories, sodium, and fat. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "PET TALK: Resolutions for a paw-some New Year," 11 Jan. 2020 Hope your day is filled with chocolate, sweet treats, and so much love. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "30 Best Valentine's Day Wishes and Messages to Share With Your Loved Ones," 3 Jan. 2020 People who take part are also welcome to bring canned dog food, treats and toys. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Here's how you can help Phoenix shelter dogs have a less scary New Year's Eve," 31 Dec. 2019 Cheese stuffed bread is a ridiculously appealing treat, and this version of filled biscuit features not one, not two, but THREE cheeses. Katie Workman, NBC News, "This hack transforms a tube of refrigerated dough into cheesy prosciutto stuffed biscuits," 24 Dec. 2019 For the test flight, the Starliner carried Christmas treats and presents for the six space station residents, the original air travel ID card belonging to Boeing's founder and a mannequin, named Rosie after the bicep-flexing riveter of World War II. Marcia Dunn, Anchorage Daily News, "Boeing’s Starliner capsule veers off course in orbital debut, won’t dock at space station," 20 Dec. 2019 For the test flight, the Starliner carried Christmas treats and presents for the six space station residents, the original air travel ID card belonging to Boeing's founder and a mannequin, named Rosie after the bicep-flexing riveter of World War II. Arkansas Online, "Boeing capsule launches to wrong orbit, skips space station," 20 Dec. 2019 Fido and Fifi will love a When Pigs Fly or Mountain Drool Silly Squeaker toy. Don’t forget to throw in a few yummy treats and chews. Doreen Christensen,, "Inspired holiday gifts from the grocery store for under $20 | Doreen’s Deals," 12 Dec. 2019 Super Bowl party snacks — Mark Jasso will teach a hands-on class in dips, finger foods, seasonal treats and healthy snacks; participants will take home samples. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gift ideas? How about a Milwaukee-area cooking class?," 10 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for treat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for treat

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for treat


How to pronounce treat (audio)

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
US : something that tastes good and that is not eaten often


\ ˈtrēt How to pronounce treat (audio) \
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 How to pronounce treat (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on treat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for treat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with treat

Spanish Central: Translation of treat

Nglish: Translation of treat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of treat for Arabic Speakers

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).


good-natured easy friendliness

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