\ 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 Police and emergency workers responded quickly, assuring that the wounded were treated quickly, Ferguson said. Washington Post, "Police: ‘Feud’ led to mass French Quarter shooting," 2 Dec. 2019 The fish are put on ice back at the boat launch – specially treated ice to avoid contamination – and the ADEM team loads up to move on to the next site. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Are Alabama fish safe to eat? Here’s how the state decides," 2 Dec. 2019 Dad was a sincerely good guy who treated everyone with kindness., "Robert H. Lindgren," 1 Dec. 2019 The facility’s two staff veterinarians, Millis and Dr. Marti Drum, who specializes in sports medicine, treat about 20 outpatients a day and tend to several inpatients. Karen Angel, USA TODAY, "Physical therapy for dogs? Some owners turn to rehab to manage chronic pain, avoid costly surgery," 30 Nov. 2019 Donald Trump won the presidential election of 2016 after being treated as a no-hoper. The Economist, "Jeremy Corbyn’s political agenda is more radical than his economic one," 30 Nov. 2019 Seems to me not wanting anyone to wish you a positive greeting and getting treated like a friend is more a psychological problem to some people but the not majority. The Rev. Ellin Dize,, "Dize: Jesus is the reason for the season and Christmas is an inclusive holiday," 30 Nov. 2019 Ohio State recruits more talent and treats the rivalry with a sharper edge. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football makes Michigan play a perfect game, and under Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines can’t do it," 30 Nov. 2019 Under his leadership, the department returned to citywide beat policing and created the Mobile Crisis Assistance Team (MCAT) that focused on treating individuals suffering from mental health, according to a release from Hogsett’s office. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach to retire at end of the year," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Around 3,000 pounds of these from-scratch treats sell for $7.50 per pound during the annual Country Cookie Walk and Craft Sale, Dec. 7 to 8 at the church’s school cafeteria. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Über church cookie sale brings congregants together ‘like family’ in Lebanon," 2 Dec. 2019 Iman and her girlfriends enjoyed a cozy winter wonderland themed baby shower complete with massages, a hot chocolate station and all the self-care treats a mama-to-be could want. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Aww! Chanel Iman And Sterling Shepard Revealed The Gender Of Their Second Child," 2 Dec. 2019 Haffeman and Tucker plan to offer desserts and other treats that Kodiak residents can enjoy after arts council events. Anchorage Daily News, "The next chapter: Kodiak residents open book store," 1 Dec. 2019 This year’s holiday celebration at the B&O Railroad Museum, 901 E. Pratt St., highlights four regions the fabled B&O Railroad traveled through, featuring local treats and traditions from each. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Washington Monument lighting, a Victorian Baltimore take on Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Night of 100 Elvises," 1 Dec. 2019 From early-morning charity runs to the annual Thanksgiving Day parade through downtown, celebrants gathered in mild weather around the region before retreating to homes stocked with turkey, tamales, stuffing and other traditional treats. Dug Begley, Houston Chronicle, "Clouds don’t deter crowds from Houston’s Thanksgiving parade, Big Super Feast," 28 Nov. 2019 Santa and his elves will be there, and there will be complimentary popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate and other treats. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "Everything you need to know before heading to Middletown’s annual Holiday on Main Street this weekend," 28 Nov. 2019 There will be holiday music, special performances, sweet treats and a very special appearance by Santa Claus. Jennifer Boehm,, "Things to do with the kids this weekend: Storybook Festival, Family Sleepover, Dog Tales & more," 13 Nov. 2019 The deceased's favorite dishes, bread, snacks and treats represent the earth, Martínez-Rivera said. Natalia E. Contreras, Indianapolis Star, "'Instead of sadness, I feel joy': How Day of the Dead celebrations pay tribute to family," 31 Oct. 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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

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very cautious or careful

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