verb (used with object), mis·han·dled, mis·han·dling.

to handle badly; maltreat: to mishandle a dog.
to manage badly: to mishandle an estate.
to lose or misplace: to mishandle baggage.

Origin of mishandle

First recorded in 1490–1500; mis-1 + handle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mishandling

Contemporary Examples of mishandling

Historical Examples of mishandling

  • There are a dozen different ways of mishandling a vessel under sail.

    All Afloat

    William Wood

  • Not 'a cold check' after all that drenching and mishandling!

  • He did not look around when the man who had been mishandling the animal said defiantly, "I quit!"

    The Lost Wagon

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Until you had cleared yourself of mishandling Major Buckstones dispatch, the other reminded him.

  • Have you seen the kick and tug at the straps of the mettled pony in stables that betrays the mishandling of him by his groom?

British Dictionary definitions for mishandling



(tr) to handle or treat badly or inefficiently
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 mishandling



c.1500, from mis- (1) + handle (v.). Related: Mishandled; mishandling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper