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maltreat

[mal-treet]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to treat or handle badly, cruelly, or roughly; abuse: to maltreat a prisoner.

Origin of maltreat

1700–10; earlier maltrait < French maltraiter. See mal-, treat
Related formsmal·treat·er, nounmal·treat·ment, noun
Can be confusedmaltreatment mistreatment

Synonyms

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mistreat, injure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maltreat

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The peoples of Europe can maltreat, but happily not judge one another.

  • It was contrary to all the homely traditions at the farm to kill or maltreat a toad.

    When Life Was Young

    C. A. Stephens

  • Consequently my uncle looked upon me as useless, and began to maltreat me again.

    Mauprat

    George Sand

  • Crosby was her property, to browbeat and maltreat as seemed best to her.

    The Madigans

    Miriam Michelson

  • You may maltreat him when I am away, but not before my eyes.

    The Little Clay Cart

    (Attributed To) King Shudraka


British Dictionary definitions for maltreat

maltreat

verb
  1. (tr) to treat badly, cruelly, or inconsiderately
Derived Formsmaltreater, nounmaltreatment, noun

Word Origin

C18: from French maltraiter
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

Word Origin and History for maltreat

v.

1708, from French maltraiter, or formed in English from mal- + treat (v.). Related: Maltreated; maltreating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper