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 treatmentWhen 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 That lawsuit, which was also brought by Heipt, claimed company employees deprived Michael Sabbie of medications and treatment for his heart disease, diabetes and other medical conditions. Jake Bleiberg, Star Tribune, "Lawsuit: Private jail company caused Texas woman's death," 16 Sep. 2020 The past three months of his young life have been a whirlwind of medical appointments and treatment at Yale New Haven Health’s Smilow Cancer Hospital. Leeanne Griffin,, "‘Let’s go beat cancer’: New Haven chef, whose son was diagnosed at 7 months old, organizes dinner fundraiser," 16 Sep. 2020 Others urged county leaders to spend less on the Sheriff’s Office and more on mental health treatment and safe-voting options in the Nov. 3 election. Scott Huddleston,, "Bexar County approves budget that keeps some constable positions," 15 Sep. 2020 The use of race-specific lung function algorithms, then, may be leading to inappropriate — and inadvertently discriminatory — differences in diagnosis, protection from occupational exposures, and treatment. Adam W. Gaffney, STAT, "Are lung function algorithms perpetuating health disparities experienced by Black people?," 15 Sep. 2020 Both of these facts offer tantalizing glimpses at the real picture of the relationship between COVID-19, GI symptoms, and treatment, but there’s certainly much more to uncover. Popular Science, "Google search data can help pinpoint COVID-19 hotspots before they flare up," 15 Sep. 2020 For people with general questions about COVID-19, such as symptoms, treatment or tests, the Kentucky Poison Control Center is taking calls at 800-722-5725. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "COVID-19 data doubters continue to question state public health commissioner about numbers," 15 Sep. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic poses a serious threat for people living with addiction and imperils critical progress made in the diagnosis and treatment of opioid-use disorder and the prevention of overdose deaths. WSJ, "The Opioid Crisis Requires Attention as Well," 15 Sep. 2020 During the investigation, two more highway patrol officers and a Golden Gate Bridge Patrol officer began exhibiting symptoms of possible fentanyl exposure and were also taken to a hospital for treatment and monitoring, its statement reads. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "7 people hospitalized after car crash on Golden Gate Bridge possibly exposes them to fentanyl," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for treatment

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Treatment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for treatment


How to pronounce treatment (audio)

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

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Nglish: Translation of treatment for Spanish Speakers

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

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