trea·​tise | \ ˈtrē-təs How to pronounce treatise (audio) also -təz \

Definition of treatise

1 : a systematic exposition or argument in writing including a methodical discussion of the facts and principles involved and conclusions reached a treatise on higher education
2 obsolete : account, tale

Examples of treatise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two millennia ago, China’s homegrown master of all things military, the (perhaps apocryphal) general Sun Tzu, etched his hierarchy of strategic priorities on China’s way of diplomacy and warfare through his treatise The Art of War. James Holmes, National Review, 15 July 2021 The story, written by Jonathan Van Meter, is a fashion love song and a political treatise. Washington Post, 29 June 2021 America's greatest historian, W. E. B. Du Bois, a genius of unsurpassed eloquence and insight, wrote of the failure of America's first reconstruction in his monumental 1935 treatise, Black Reconstruction. Jeffrey D. Sachs, CNN, 25 May 2021 Or to her underlying motivation for writing The Silent Woman, as a treatise not just on biographies of Sylvia Plath but on literary biographies as a whole. Sarah Weinman, The New Republic, 18 June 2021 This is not just a rah rah treatise on how to start and run a business. Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes, 22 June 2021 First established when Pope Innocent III wrote the treatise De sacro altaris mysterio (The Mystery of the Sacred Altar) in 1198, the modern Roman color sequence of the Catholic church is still followed today. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, 24 Feb. 2021 This same interpretation helps illuminate one of Poe’s final works, an esoteric treatise on cosmology called Eureka: An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe. Daniel Engber, The Atlantic, 11 June 2021 Yes, that can be done, but remember, this a lazy farmer treatise. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'treatise.' 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 treatise

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for treatise

Middle English tretis, from Anglo-French tretiz, alteration of tretez, traitet, from Medieval Latin tractatus, from Latin tractare to treat, handle

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The first known use of treatise was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Treatise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for treatise



English Language Learners Definition of treatise

: a book, article, etc., that discusses a subject carefully and thoroughly


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