[ treet ]
See synonyms for: treattreatedtreatingtreats on

verb (used with object)
  1. to act or behave toward (a person) in some specified way: to treat someone with respect.

  2. to consider or regard in a specified way, and deal with accordingly: to treat a matter as unimportant.

  1. to deal with (a disease, patient, etc.) in order to relieve or cure.

  2. to deal with in speech or writing; discuss.

  3. to deal with, develop, or represent artistically, especially in some specified manner or style: to treat a theme realistically.

  4. to subject to some agent or action in order to bring about a particular result: to treat a substance with an acid.

  5. to entertain; give hospitality to: He treats diplomats in the lavish surroundings of his country estate.

  6. to provide food, entertainment, gifts, etc., at one's own expense: Let me treat you to dinner.

verb (used without object)
  1. to deal with a subject in speech or writing; discourse: a work that treats of the caste system in India.

  2. to give, or bear the expense of, a treat: Is it my turn to treat?

  1. to carry on negotiations with a view to a settlement; discuss terms of settlement; negotiate.

  1. entertainment, food, drink, etc., given by way of compliment or as an expression of friendly regard.

  2. anything that affords particular pleasure or enjoyment.

  1. the act of treating.

  2. one's turn to treat.

Origin of treat

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English verb treten, from Old French tretier, traitier, from Latin tractāre “to drag, handle, treat,” frequentative of trahere “to drag”; see tract1

Other words from treat

  • treater, noun
  • non·treat·ed, adjective
  • o·ver·treat, verb
  • self-treated, adjective
  • un·treat·ed, adjective
  • well-treated, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use treat in a sentence

  • Night Shift By Stephen King Question for you trick-or-treaters: Is Stephen King a short-story writer posing as a novelist?

    Great New Reads | The Daily Beast | October 31, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Carbon plant No. 3, showing treater room and west side batteries of Dorsite treaters.

British Dictionary definitions for treat


/ (triːt) /

  1. a celebration, entertainment, gift, or feast given for or to someone and paid for by another

  2. any delightful surprise or specially pleasant occasion

  1. the act of treating

  1. (tr) to deal with or regard in a certain manner: she treats school as a joke

  2. (tr) to apply treatment to: to treat a patient for malaria

  1. (tr) to subject to a process or to the application of a substance: to treat photographic film with developer

  2. (tr ; often foll by to) to provide (someone) (with) as a treat: he treated the children to a trip to the zoo

  3. (intr usually foll by of) formal to deal (with), as in writing or speaking

  4. (intr) formal to discuss settlement; negotiate

Origin of treat

C13: from Old French tretier, from Latin tractāre to manage, from trahere to drag

Derived forms of treat

  • treatable, adjective
  • treater, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with treat


In addition to the idiom beginning with treat

  • treat like dirt

also see:

  • Dutch treat
  • trick or treat

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.