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maul

[mawl]
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noun
  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

laceratepummeldrubmugbludgeontramplethrashmolestpoundskinwhippawpeltmaltreatwaxhitbeatflagellatebuffethurt

Examples from the Web for mauling

Historical Examples

  • Only three of 'em, but they're all over the place—climbing on you, mauling you, tripping you up.

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

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

  • Lying on my cushions, mauling my things, running my engine for all I know.

    From the Car Behind

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • And it was only after months of suffering that Williams finally recovered from the mauling.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • Had they but known it, he despised them too greatly to think of mauling them.


British Dictionary definitions for mauling

maul

verb (tr)
  1. to handle clumsily; paw
  2. to batter or lacerate
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noun
  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 mauling

maul

v.

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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maul

n.

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