\ 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 If there is any confusion about your diagnosis and how your doctor plans to treat it, a second opinion will be in order. Wired, 9 Aug. 2022 In addition to a spacious dining room and living area, guests can also treat themselves to the private in-room bourbon bar, which is stocked with top-shelf whiskeys to fix an Old Fashioned in the privacy of your suite. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 8 Aug. 2022 Here are a few things to know about fibromyalgia and how to treat it. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 4 Aug. 2022 Now is the perfect time to plan that last-minute getaway (hey, treat yourself!). Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 3 Aug. 2022 Larry was able to cash nearly $5 million in life insurance, and used that money to treat himself and Lori to a lavish lifestyle. Elisabeth Garber-paul, Rolling Stone, 1 Aug. 2022 Use your credit card to buy your gas, buy your food, treat yourself a little bit. Essence, 1 Aug. 2022 Crump said that in the past, an ambulance arrived to treat her. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 30 July 2022 As with any newly emerging pathogen, the CDC has set out to educate health care providers how to detect the disease, order tests for it and treat it. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, 28 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For those who enjoy a sweet treat every now and then, don't miss the Slushie Maker Cup, which just can turn any drink into a slushie and, at $17, is 41 percent off. Rachel Simon, Peoplemag, 8 Aug. 2022 The sweetness in the mixture, sharpened by a spoonful of sugar, almost turns it into a treat. Karen Yuan, Bon Appétit, 7 Aug. 2022 These limited edition sponges make cleaning a total treat. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Aug. 2022 For a slightly different treat, cook biscuit dough on a stick and dip it in butter and cinnamon sugar. Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press, 5 Aug. 2022 Saying anything is probably better than saying nothing at present, but speaking from the heart could be a special treat. Chicago Tribune, 3 Aug. 2022 Step aside froyo, there’s a new tasty treat in town. Kaitlyn Keegan, Hartford Courant, 1 Aug. 2022 In the clip, police officers break the front passenger side window, unlock the car and retrieve the dog from the backseat, giving him a treat and some water. Glenn Garner,, 1 Aug. 2022 Or go for Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, a decadent treat that mixes white-chocolate chips and chocolate truffles into chocolate ice cream. Charles Passy, WSJ, 28 July 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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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 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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