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[il-treet] /ˈɪlˈtrit/
verb (used with object)
to treat badly; maltreat; abuse.
Origin of ill-treat
First recorded in 1695-1705
Related forms
ill-treatment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ill-treat
Historical Examples
  • I don't think he means to ill-treat them—he's a kind-hearted man.

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore
  • Is it not even worse to ill-treat a stranger than one who is at home?

    Where We Live Emilie Van Beil Jacobs
  • She was an angel, Sanders went about whining when he had no longer a woman to ill-treat.

    A Window in Thrums

    J. M. Barrie
  • When they join, the officers may ill-treat them, pull their hair, and strike them with impunity.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
  • But if you ill-treat me I shall leave your house and not return.

    The Californians

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • If you forgive me,” replied Vanslyperken, “then pray do not ill-treat my dog.

    Snarley-yow Frederick Marryat
  • If he is bad enough to ill-treat his dog, he will ill-treat his wife and children.

    Beautiful Joe Marshall Saunders
  • They say that her reputation has been sullied, that I ill-treat her, and that she ought not to submit to it.

    Child of a Century, Complete Alfred de Musset
  • If they say that I ill-treat her, it is for me—to prove the contrary by my conduct with her, and not by violence.

    Child of a Century, Complete Alfred de Musset
  • He knows well that I do not ill-treat him for my own pleasure.

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
British Dictionary definitions for ill-treat


(transitive) to behave cruelly or harshly towards; misuse; maltreat
Derived Forms
ill-treatment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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