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[treet] /trit/
verb (used with object)
to act or behave toward (a person) in some specified way:
to treat someone with respect.
to consider or regard in a specified way, and deal with accordingly:
to treat a matter as unimportant.
to deal with (a disease, patient, etc.) in order to relieve or cure.
to deal with in speech or writing; discuss.
to deal with, develop, or represent artistically, especially in some specified manner or style:
to treat a theme realistically.
to subject to some agent or action in order to bring about a particular result:
to treat a substance with an acid.
to entertain; give hospitality to:
He treats diplomats in the lavish surroundings of his country estate.
to provide food, entertainment, gifts, etc., at one's own expense:
Let me treat you to dinner.
verb (used without object)
to deal with a subject in speech or writing; discourse:
a work that treats of the caste system in India.
to give, or bear the expense of, a treat:
Is it my turn to treat?
to carry on negotiations with a view to a settlement; discuss terms of settlement; negotiate.
entertainment, food, drink, etc., given by way of compliment or as an expression of friendly regard.
anything that affords particular pleasure or enjoyment.
the act of treating.
one's turn to treat.
Origin of treat
1250-1300; Middle English treten (v.) < Old French tretier, traitier < Latin tractāre to drag, handle, treat, frequentative of trahere to drag. See tract1
Related forms
treater, noun
nontreated, adjective
overtreat, verb
self-treated, adjective
untreated, adjective
well-treated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for treat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a man more than the master of them all, and his name was Edmund Burke; and how did they treat him?

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • What would you say, were I to treat you as Miss Harlowe's father and mother treat her?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • It is our only pleasure; and it's such a treat for us when your thoughts pay us a visit!

    The Blue Bird for Children Georgette Leblanc
  • I am sure it was not thus my fault you had not, although you treat me thus.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Vidal was, you see, a great poet and it was not proper to treat a great poet with indifference.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
British Dictionary definitions for treat


a celebration, entertainment, gift, or feast given for or to someone and paid for by another
any delightful surprise or specially pleasant occasion
the act of treating
(transitive) to deal with or regard in a certain manner: she treats school as a joke
(transitive) to apply treatment to: to treat a patient for malaria
(transitive) to subject to a process or to the application of a substance: to treat photographic film with developer
(transitive; often foll by to) to provide (someone) (with) as a treat: he treated the children to a trip to the zoo
(formal) (intransitive) usually foll by of. to deal (with), as in writing or speaking
(intransitive) (formal) to discuss settlement; negotiate
Derived Forms
treatable, adjective
treater, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French tretier, from Latin tractāre to manage, from trahere to drag
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
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Word Origin and History for treat

c.1300, "negotiate, bargain, deal with," from Old French traiter (12c.), from Latin tractare "manage, handle, deal with," originally "drag about," frequentative of trahere (past participle tractus) "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "to entertain with food and drink by way of compliment or kindness (or bribery)" is recorded from c.1500. Sense of "deal with in speech or writing" (early 14c.) led to the use in medicine (1781), "to attempt to heal or cure." Related: Treated; treating.


late 14c., "action of discussing terms," from treat (v.). Sense of "a treating with food and drink" (1650s) was extended by 1770 to "anything that gives pleasure."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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treat in Medicine

treat (trēt)
v. treat·ed, treat·ing, treats

  1. To give medical aid to someone.

  2. To give medical aid to counteract a disease or condition.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with treat


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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