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See more synonyms for maul on Thesaurus.com
  1. a heavy hammer, as for driving stakes or wedges.
  2. Archaic. a heavy club or mace.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to handle or use roughly: The book was badly mauled by its borrowers.
  2. to injure by a rough beating, shoving, or the like; bruise: to be mauled by an angry crowd.
  3. to split with a maul and wedge, as a wooden rail.
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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 formsmaul·er, nounun·mauled, adjective
Can be confusedmall maul maw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mauled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His hair was standing out all over him in tufts where her teeth had mauled.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • At every step it was kicked or mauled by the crowd who accompanied it.

  • He found him out in a blackberry patch and mauled him to death.

    Old Ebenezer

    Opie Read

  • They mauled and pounded him until he was sore, for he was the idol of the regiment.

  • In fact he gets so mauled his friends will soon hardly be able to recognise him.

    The Willoughby Captains

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for mauled


verb (tr)
  1. to handle clumsily; paw
  2. to batter or lacerate
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  1. a heavy two-handed hammer suitable for driving piles, wedges, etc
  2. rugby a loose scrum that forms around a player who is holding the ball and on his feet
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Derived Formsmauler, 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

Word Origin and History for mauled



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper