verb (used with object)

to treat badly; maltreat; abuse.

Origin of ill-treat

First recorded in 1695–1705
Related formsill-treat·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ill-treat

Historical Examples of ill-treat

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for ill-treat



(tr) to behave cruelly or harshly towards; misuse; maltreat
Derived Formsill-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