\ 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

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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 Already, some of the monoclonal antibody treatments used to treat COVID-19 seem to be less effective against some of the new variants. Los Angeles Times, "California’s COVID-19 ‘honeymoon’ has been glorious. But it could end soon," 30 Mar. 2021 Khamosh administered two doses of Narcan, an emergency drug used to treat opioid overdoses, and continued CPR on the child. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, "2-year-old in Concord rescued with Narcan after ingesting fentanyl," 29 Mar. 2021 It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. Donald J. Mihalek, ABC News, "The seen and unseen threat of fentanyl: OPINION," 28 Mar. 2021 Pfizer and Lilly hope the drug can be used to treat other pain conditions and are currently testing it in patients with metastatic bone pain. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "FDA panels reject tanezumab to treat arthritis pain, finds limited effectiveness makes rare side effect not worth the risk," 25 Mar. 2021 The candidate is a class of drug known as a protease inhibitor, which has been long used to treat HIV and hepatitis C. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Tax Increases and the ‘Inequality’ Excuse," 24 Mar. 2021 The mesh devices, which are implanted in the pelvic floor, are used to treat common health conditions in women., "Boston Scientific to pay $2.8 million to Massachuetts in multi-state settlement over surgical mesh devices," 23 Mar. 2021 Emerging evidence suggests that infection with SARS-CoV-2—and possibly the drugs used to treat it—makes COVID-19 patients especially vulnerable to Aspergillus. Nathaniel Scharping, Science | AAAS, "Common fungus emerges as threat to hospitalized COVID-19 patients," 22 Mar. 2021 TNF Alpha inhibitors currently in use are unable to pass from the bloodstream into the brain and therefore cannot be used to treat neurological disorders. Kevin Anderton, Forbes, "The Winners Of This Year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search Are Changing The World [Infographic]," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Playing alongside leading scorer Torrey Patton has been a treat for Gomillion. cleveland, "Defensive-minded Tre Gomillion is the backbone of Cleveland State’s championship season," 18 Mar. 2021 This week’s episode will be a treat for anyone who has ever entertained the thought of writing a cookbook. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "Too Asian, not Asian enough: the challenges of writing restaurant reviews as a person of color," 15 Mar. 2021 This moisturizing styling tool made with cocoa butter is a treat for your skin and beard hair. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "All the products you need to care for your lockdown facial hair," 5 Mar. 2021 With more and more robins remaining in our area for the entire winter, those leftover berries will be a treat for other robins or cedar waxwings at some point. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Robins still compete, even after nesting season," 29 Dec. 2020 Highs in the mid- to upper 50s are a treat for this time of year. Washington Post, "Milder sunshine today with an even warmer weekend," 10 Dec. 2020 The recreation was also a fun treat for those who patiently await the Friends HBO Max reunion special which is expected to film next year after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Courteney Cox Just Recreated That Friends Thanksgiving Turkey Head Scene," 27 Nov. 2020 This should be a front-row treat for South Florida to watch play out. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: The Marlins' hire of hope — and the public reaction ‘beyond my expectations’ | Commentary," 16 Nov. 2020 The realization that ice cream could be a treat for grownups changed the business. CNN, "This company conquered the ice cream market. Home delivery is the final frontier," 14 Nov. 2020

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

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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
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

Nglish: Translation of treat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of treat for Arabic Speakers

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