verb (used with object)

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 for maltreat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for maltreatment

injustice, violation, injury, abuse

British Dictionary definitions for maltreatment



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

Word Origin for maltreat

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 maltreatment

1721, from French maltraitement or formed in English from mal- + treatment.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper