\ 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 Pursuing this area has several advantages, von Maltzahn said, such as having the ability to re-dose patients with medicines to reach a cure, instead of only being able to treat them once. Anissa Gardizy,, "Biotech startup Tessera takes in $230m to go after ‘gene writing’," 12 Jan. 2021 In 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery to treat it. al, "Talk show host Larry King hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19," 3 Jan. 2021 In 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Larry King has been hospitalized with Covid-19," 2 Jan. 2021 That meant funding and coordinating projects aimed at pinpointing the mutations responsible for genetic disorders, then developing tests to diagnose them and therapies to treat them. Megan Molteni, Wired, "30 Years Since the Human Genome Project Began, What’s Next?," 30 Dec. 2020 Do a little happy dance, pat yourself on the back, or treat yourself to a new pair of leggings. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "A Core Strength Workout You Can Do at Home," 30 Dec. 2020 One reason for these large numbers is that every venom needs a specific antivenin to treat it. The Economist, "Toxicology How to simplify the treatment of snake bites," 30 Dec. 2020 Owner Shannon Reaves said the gift of self-care during a difficult year can help people treat themselves. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "Need last-minute holiday gifts? Here are ideas from 5 metro Detroit businesses," 19 Dec. 2020 Little is known about how to prevent and treat them. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How Science Beat the Virus," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Christmas festival was inspired by a drive-thru trunk-or-treat event that St. Mary’s School hosted in October, Young said, which was a great success. Mary Sullivan,, "Holiday cheer from St. Mary of the Mills in Laurel | OLD TOWN," 24 Dec. 2020 In addition to being a real treat, this recipe is good for bakers who have yet to build up a lot of confidence in their bread skills. Washington Post, "Warm-from-the-oven sticky pecan rolls will make Christmas, or any special morning, memorable," 23 Dec. 2020 But seeing Marcus Mariota under center for the Raiders against Justin Herbert and the Chargers was a real treat. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Marcus Mariota, Mario Cristobal and Justin Herbert provide joyful intersection," 18 Dec. 2020 The RYOBI Drill and Impact Driver kit is sure to be a real treat for the DIYer of your life. Popular Science, "12 gift ideas for the DIYer in your life," 16 Nov. 2020 With the pandemic affecting many families’ Halloween plans, the Town of West Hartford provided a drive-through trick-or-treat event, on Oct. 31. Steve Smith,, "Drive-through trick-or-treat event attracts hundreds," 13 Nov. 2020 Kudos to Middleburg Heights Kiwanis members, who prepared 600 goodie bags of trick-or-treat candy, which were split evenly between the Middleburg Heights Food Pantry and Audrey’s Outreach in Brook Park. Rich Heileman, cleveland, "Berea Library’s puzzle challenge: Around The Town," 6 Nov. 2020 Families can go to drive-through trick-or-treat events or car parades, hold online parties or just put on their costumes to walk around for a bit. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "Halloween a do-or-die moment in California fight against fall COVID-19 wave," 31 Oct. 2020 Some cities may designate trick-or-treat hours, so check ahead. Leada Gore |, al, "Halloween 2020: When is trick or treating where I live? What time?," 31 Oct. 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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on treat

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