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Definition of "maltreat" [mal•treat]

  • To treat in a rough or cruel way; abuse. See Synonyms at abuse. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "maltreat" in a sentence
  • "Henry David Thoreau agonized over pummeling a chestnut with a stone to bring down its nuts: "It is not innocent, it is not just, so to maltreat the tree that feeds us," he wrote in his journal on Oct. 23, 1855."
  • "I believe in the right of self-defence of the weak against the strong, and I do not propose to allow any man to maltreat me at his pleasure, as long as there are any weapons of defence to be had by which I can equalize any strength withhis ...."
  • "I have called him an atavism, but in this he was worse than an atavism, for the males of the lower animals do not maltreat and murder their mates."