verb (used with object)

to treat badly or abusively.

Origin of mistreat

First recorded in 1425–75, mistreat is from the late Middle English word mistreten. See mis-1, treat
Related formsmis·treat·ment, noun
Can be confusedmaltreatment mistreatment

Synonyms for mistreat

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

Examples from the Web for mistreat

Contemporary Examples of mistreat

  • That one human being has the capacity to so mistreat another is not news.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Punish the Onlookers

    Wendy Murphy

    October 30, 2009

Historical Examples of mistreat

British Dictionary definitions for mistreat



(tr) to treat badly
Derived Formsmistreatment, 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

Word Origin and History for mistreat

mid-15c.; see mis- (1) + treat (v.). Related: Mistreated; mistreating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper