treat·​ment | \ ˈtrēt-mənt How to pronounce treatment (audio) \
plural treatments

Definition of treatment

1 : the act or manner or an instance of treating someone or something: such as
a : conduct or behavior towards another The actor requires careful treatment. … he always treated people with whom he disagreed with utmost civility and never allowed his scholarly predispositions to interfere with respectful treatment of students holding differing views.LSA [Linguistic Society of America] Bulletin
b : the action or manner of dealing with something (such as a topic) often in a specified way … the best and most comprehensive treatment of American foreign oil policy that has so far been written.— Burton I. Kaufman … cinematic treatments of organized crime as GoodFellas, Godfather III and Miller's Crossing.— Ralph Novak … most of us readers assume that this conflict of interest is the reason PC Magazine reviews of Microsoft products are softball treatments that in no way reflect the actual experiences of users, who are plagued with constant program crashes.— Joseph Kristl
c : the action or way of treating a patient or a condition medically or surgically : management and care to prevent, cure, ameliorate, or slow progression of a medical condition treatment of accident victims palliative treatment of inoperable cancer treatment of a blocked artery infertility treatments treatment of diabetic patients also : an instance of treating a patient or medical condition patients requiring numerous chemotherapy treatments Removal of the skin growth required a single treatment.
d : subjection of something to the action of an agent or process sewage treatment It is the most economical and practical method of purification and treatment of water.Business Insider (online) a wastewater treatment plant
2a : a therapeutic agent, therapy, or procedure used to treat a medical condition Placebos—medical treatments that contain no active ingredients—have triggered an outbreak of controversy …Science News
b : something (such as a product or technique) used in treating, enhancing, or improving the performance, condition, or appearance of someone or something exfoliating skin treatments He cares about the condition of hair, invents treatments as well as styles, and has brought out a special hair-care product made of bone marrow.Vogue Regularly apply a waterproofing treatment suitable for the boot whether it be normal leather, nubuck or suede.— Rodney Chester Wainscoting is paneling that lines the lower part of the walls in a room. This decorative treatment usually goes as high as chair rail height, but can be raised higher for a more elegant wall treatment.— Denise Freese
3 : the techniques or actions customarily applied in a specified situation: such as
a : the provision (such as by a store or restaurant) of the goods or services associated with a visit, fee, or order The party received special treatment at the restaurant. "If you want luxury goods, then walking into a Gucci or Prada or Cartier and getting the full treatment and sitting on the cushy leather banquette is part of the experience," says freelance writer and fashion aficionada Lisbeth Levine.— Robin Givhan
b : a pattern of actions (such as the bestowal of gifts and favors) designed to reward, encourage, or convince … he has been getting the standard treatment of cocktail parties, press interviews and deals with advertisers …Time In those early days, [Gerald] Ford was invited to the White House by the natty, peppery Harry Truman, who wanted $5 million to renovate the crumbling building. Ford got the full treatment, with amateur architect Truman pointing out sagging floors and the lack of closets. Truman got his money.— Hugh Sidey
c : a pattern of actions (such as insults or physical punishment) designed to punish or persuade used especially in phrases like get the treatment and give (someone) the treatment When asked what MI [Military Intelligence] said, he [Sergeant Javal S. Davis] stated: "Loosen this guy up for us. Make sure he has a bad night. Make sure he gets the treatment."Los Angeles TimesSome of the cops at the station house were ready to take him into a back room and give him "the treatment" for passing himself off as one of them.— William McGowanInstead, the press corps closed their minds and treated dissenters like pariahs to coerce conformity. NBC News got the full treatment when it dared to break ranks.— Michael Goodwin

Examples of treatment in a Sentence

We want to ensure equal treatment for everyone. The law requires humane treatment of prisoners. It's a complicated issue that requires careful treatment. The book's treatment of this important issue is unimpressive. Previous treatments of this topic have ignored some key issues. The patient required immediate medical treatment. She is receiving treatment for cancer. The drug has been approved as a treatment for AIDS.
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Recent Examples on the Web This helps the healthcare industry optimize treatment and prevention methods. Alexey Shliakhouski, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Phototherapy: Your doctor can perform this treatment, which uses UVB light to reduce the size and severity of psoriasis lesions. Sara Gaynes Levy, SELF, 11 Oct. 2021 Looking forward, Parker said this his goal is to pave the way to better treatment and more options for others dealing with glioblastoma. Rachel Desantis,, 11 Oct. 2021 Shop skincare heroes like RoC's wrinkle treatment and serum set that's 37% off and the $13 L'Oreal Revitalift anti-aging moisturizer that has over 11,400 five-star ratings. Sanah Faroke, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Oct. 2021 The pair collaborated on two research papers about the need for cultural awareness in treatment and training pediatricians outside a hospital setting. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2021 To support breast cancer research, treatment and prevention, the Dimond Center is donating $1 per Ice Chalet admission to the American Cancer Society. Anchorage Daily News, 9 Oct. 2021 The organization also supports numerous on-the-ground programs in India, Kenya, Cameroon and other countries that provide prevention and treatment services. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 9 Oct. 2021 Transmission from cats to humans has not been shown to occur, although all big cats have been removed from public exhibit spaces for ongoing treatment and observation, a release said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2021

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

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for treatment

Time Traveler

The first known use of treatment was circa 1560

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Dictionary Entries Near treatment



treat (someone) like dirt

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Statistics for treatment

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Treatment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for treatment



English Language Learners Definition of treatment

: the way that you think of and act toward someone or something
: the way that you deal with or discuss a subject
: something that deals with or discusses a subject


treat·​ment | \ ˈtrēt-mənt How to pronounce treatment (audio) \

Kids Definition of treatment

1 : the act or manner of treating someone or something The dog received rough treatment by his previous owners.
2 : medical or surgical care The accident victim required immediate treatment.
3 : a substance or method used in treating a treatment for acne waste treatment


treat·​ment | \ ˈtrēt-mənt How to pronounce treatment (audio) \

Medical Definition of treatment

1 : the action or manner of treating a patient medically or surgically treatment of tuberculosis
2 : an instance of treating the cure required many treatments

More from Merriam-Webster on treatment

Nglish: Translation of treatment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of treatment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about treatment


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