\ 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 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So take the guesswork out of your skincare routine, and here, find the 15 best face exfoliators that treat everything from breakouts, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, and fine lines. ELLE, 18 May 2022 One way to treat kidney disease might be using medicines that block the gene and its variants from acting in the body. New York Times, 17 May 2022 And there’s currently no cure and no definitive way to treat or prevent the condition. Hartford Courant, 16 May 2022 Zoos increasingly are turning to medical professionals who treat people to find solutions for ailing animals. Julie Watson, USA TODAY, 14 May 2022 This isn’t the right way for governments to treat private companies. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, 11 May 2022 Eliminating scents and additives that may irritate the skin is the best way to treat skin ailments. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Staffing is so short that Universal Health Services Inc., one of the country’s largest for-profit hospital chains, has had to limit patients at centers that treat mental health and substance use disorders. Carey Goldberg, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2022 Helpers who treat mental illness fall squarely into the therapist camp. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Hulu dramedy starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as unlikely podcast co-creators is a twisty treat, set to return for its second season this summer. Melissa Giannini, ELLE, 18 May 2022 With more expensive packages, parties can also include treat bags, pizza and a game of laser tag. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2022 Whether your dog is a treat fiend, a toy lover, or even a dog clothes tolerator, there’s a fantastic dog subscription box that will suit their tastes pawfectly. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 17 May 2022 Sky watchers got a treat last night as a total lunar eclipse turned the May full moon – known as the Flower Moon for its spring time appearance – into a reddish Blood Moon. Leada Gore |, al, 16 May 2022 Also, try adding a basil leaf or two to lemonade to make a refreshing treat. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 May 2022 Smith shares that although a sweet treat may feel good going in, the long-term effects are the complete opposite. Aley Arion, Essence, 13 May 2022 On the surface, this seven-scoop treat isn’t messy. cleveland, 11 May 2022 This new sweet treat is also now a part of Starbucks' permanent menu. Sabrina Weiss,, 10 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near treat

treasury warrant



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Statistics for treat

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for treat


\ 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.


transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on treat

Nglish: Translation of treat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of treat for Arabic Speakers


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