\ 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 therapies could also treat people who are already sick with Covid-19. Jen Christensen, CNN, "A coronavirus vaccine is still months away, but an antibody treatment could be closer," 26 June 2020 In wealthy Europe and North America, hospitals treat oxygen as a fundamental need, much like water or electricity. Fox News, "Medical oxygen scarce in world's poorest regions during coronavirus pandemic," 24 June 2020 These drugs could treat those who were ill and prevent further infection. William A. Haseltine, Scientific American, "The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine," 22 June 2020 Piñata Party Blizzard Treat, an almost-too-pretty-to eat treat boasting edible glitter and a decadent surprise inside. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Dairy Queen's Piñata Party Blizzard Is Filled With Confetti Cake Pieces," 22 June 2020 Miranda does not treat this as a boilerplate question. David Kamp, WSJ, "Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Most Revolutionary Role Yet," 22 June 2020 Does its platform, for example, treat third-party sellers on equal terms with its own products? The Economist, "The genius of Amazon The pandemic has shown that Amazon is essential—but vulnerable," 18 June 2020 Physicists will likely treat the XENON1T results as preliminary for the near future. Rafi Letzter, Scientific American, "Physicists Announce Potential Dark Matter Breakthrough," 17 June 2020 Tonight or this weekend, why not treat yourself to a TV series that will leave you with a smile on your face and eager for the next episode? Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Best Feel-Good TV Shows to Stream This Summer," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Discard the remaining dough scraps (or bake them off as a cook’s treat, as the texture may not be quite as good). Washington Post, "Alfajores (Cornstarch Cookies With Dulce de Leche)," 2 July 2020 And while the frozen treat isn't too hard to make at home, margarita enthusiasts will tell you that a regular old blender won’t always cut it. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, "Take Taco Tuesday Up a Notch with Amazon's Best-Selling Margarita Machine," 2 July 2020 Cost is $75 and includes tastings, light appetizers, a gift bag including a treat from Marianne’s Chocolates and keepsake glass. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Northeast Ohio wine tours, shuttles under way," 1 July 2020 Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park. Ben Walker, Houston Chronicle, "Yankees vs. Nationals in D.C. set for opening day," 27 June 2020 And yet, my spouse came home two nights ago after a rare trip out of the house and brought with her a little frozen milk treat. Paul Ford, Wired, "The Infinite Loop of Supply Chains," 23 June 2020 Pamper that pop with this luxurious quartet of essentials that will turn his morning task into a treat. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "Gifts for Grandpa that will make him smile on Father’s Day," 13 June 2020 In May 2018, six months before their big day, Hollis, 34, was diagnosed with stage four, triple negative breast cancer—a particularly aggressive and hard-to-treat form of the disease. Christina Oehler,, "This Woman's Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis Didn't Stop Her Dream Wedding," 10 June 2020 But before the full-length project drops tomorrow, the pop star has yet another treat for her fans and K-pop stans alike: a high-energy collaboration with Blackpink. Ineye Komonibo,, "Lady Gaga & Blackpink’s Collab Is Sweet But Sour," 28 May 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

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 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

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