a heavy hammer, as for driving stakes or wedges.
Archaic. a heavy club or mace.
verb (used with object)
to handle or use roughly: The book was badly mauled by its borrowers.
to injure by a rough beating, shoving, or the like; bruise: to be mauled by an angry crowd.
to split with a maul and wedge, as a wooden rail.
Also, mall.

1200–50; (noun) Middle English malle < Old French mail mallet, hammer < Latin malleus hammer; (v.) Middle English mallen < Old French maillier, derivative of noun

mauler, noun
unmauled, adjective

mall, maul, maw. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
maul (mɔːl)
1.  to handle clumsily; paw
2.  to batter or lacerate
3.  a heavy two-handed hammer suitable for driving piles, wedges, etc
4.  rugby a loose scrum that forms around a player who is holding the ball and on his feet
[C13: from Old French mail, from Latin malleus hammer. See mallet]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-13c., meallen "strike with a heavy weapon," from M.E. mealle (mid-13c.) "mace, wooden club, heavy hammer," from O.Fr. mail (see mallet). The meaning "damage seriously, shatter, mangle" is first recorded 1690s. Related: Mauled; mauling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Maul definition

an old name for a mallet, the rendering of the Hebrew mephits (Prov. 25:18), properly a war-club.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
She was reprimanded if her portion of the counter was disordered after a
  mauling by careless customers.
It is true that currencies in the region have suffered a nasty mauling.
In the months since the re-election vote, the government has taken a mauling.
Again, the fellow chickens out, resulting in the near-fatal mauling of the
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