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90s Slang You Should Know


[mawl] /mɔl/
a heavy hammer, as for driving stakes or wedges.
Archaic. a heavy club or mace.
verb (used with object)
to handle or use roughly:
The book was badly mauled by its borrowers.
to injure by a rough beating, shoving, or the like; bruise:
to be mauled by an angry crowd.
to split with a maul and wedge, as a wooden rail.
Also, mall.
Origin of maul
1200-50; (noun) Middle English malle < Old French mail mallet, hammer < Latin malleus hammer; (v.) Middle English mallen < Old French maillier, derivative of noun
Related forms
mauler, noun
unmauled, adjective
Can be confused
mall, maul, maw. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mauling
Historical Examples
  • Had they but known it, he despised them too greatly to think of mauling them.

  • I wondered what men were beneath it and what mauling they were receiving.

  • We had to improvise a cage at night to keep him from mauling us and keeping us awake.

    The Test Colony Winston Marks
  • Lying on my cushions, mauling my things, running my engine for all I know.

    From the Car Behind Eleanor M. Ingram
  • On one occasion in India a wounded panther was mauling one of his beaters.

    The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward Mainwaring
  • Only three of 'em, but they're all over the place—climbing on you, mauling you, tripping you up.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • In 'mauling rails,' the taskman selecting the trees (pine) that he judges will split easiest, 100 a day, ends not sharpened.

    The Negro Farmer Carl Kelsey
  • If you do not soon disappear from here, my friend, you may come in for some mauling.

    Amphitryon Moliere
  • Seeing how matters stood, they fell upon Kit and Hal, mauling the pair with fists, and tearing off their outer garments.

    A Gentleman Player Robert Neilson Stephens
  • The House of Commons goes on in mauling the late Ministry and their proceedings.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
British Dictionary definitions for mauling


verb (transitive)
to handle clumsily; paw
to batter or lacerate
a heavy two-handed hammer suitable for driving piles, wedges, etc
(rugby) a loose scrum that forms around a player who is holding the ball and on his feet
Derived Forms
mauler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French mail, from Latin malleus hammer. See mallet
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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Word Origin and History for mauling



mid-13c., meallen "strike with a heavy weapon," from Middle English mealle (mid-13c.) "mace, wooden club, heavy hammer" (see maul (n.). The meaning "damage seriously, mangle" is first recorded 1690s. Related: Mauled; mauling.


c.1200, mealle, "hammer, usually a heavy one; sledgehammer," from Old French mail "hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet).



c.1200, mealle, "hammer, usually a heavy one; sledgehammer," from Old French mail "hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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