Meaning of TREAT in English


I. treat 1 S2 W1 /triːt/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ treat , ↑ treatment , ↑ mistreatment ; verb : ↑ treat , ↑ mistreat ; adjective : ↑ untreated , ↑ treatable ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: traitier , from Latin tractare ; ⇨ ↑ tractable ]

1 . BEHAVE TOWARDS SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [always + adverb/preposition] to behave towards someone or something in a particular way ⇨ treatment

treat somebody like/as something

She treats me like one of the family.

Penny doesn’t think her co-workers treat her as an equal.

He treated his automobiles almost as tenderly as he did his wife.

badly treated/well treated

The prisoners were well treated by their guards.

treat somebody with respect/contempt/courtesy etc

Despite her seniority, Margot was never treated with much respect.

treat somebody like dirt/a dog (=treat someone unkindly and without respect)

I don’t know why he stays with her – she treats him like dirt.

2 . DEAL WITH SOMETHING [always + adverb/preposition] to deal with, regard, or consider something in a particular way ⇨ treatment

treat something as something

Please treat this information as completely confidential.

She treats everything I say as a joke.

treat something favourably/seriously/carefully etc

Any complaint about safety standards must be treated very seriously.

3 . ILLNESS/INJURY to try to cure an illness or injury by using drugs, hospital care, operations etc ⇨ treatment :

It was difficult to treat patients because of a shortage of medicine.

treat somebody/something with something

Nowadays, malaria can be treated with drugs.

4 . BUY SOMETHING FOR SOMEBODY to buy or do something special for someone that you know they will enjoy

treat somebody to something

We treated Mom to lunch at the Savoy.

I treated myself to a new dress.

5 . PROTECT/CLEAN to put a special substance on something or use a chemical process in order to protect, clean, or preserve it ⇨ treatment :

sewage treated so that it can be used as fertilizer

⇨ ↑ trick or treat

• • •


■ adverbs

▪ well

The majority of workers are well treated.

▪ badly

Why did he treat me so badly?

▪ fairly/unfairly

I just want to be treated fairly.

▪ equally

All people should be treated equally, whatever their age.

▪ differently

Should girls be treated differently from boys in school?

▪ harshly

The guards treated the prisoners harshly.

▪ kindly

The world had not treated him kindly.

■ phrases

▪ treat somebody with respect/contempt/suspicion etc

When you treat the kids with respect, they act responsibly.

▪ treat somebody like dirt informal (=very badly and with no respect)

He treated this wife like dirt.

• • •


▪ behave to do and say things that are good, bad, normal, strange etc:

His teacher said he’d been behaving badly at school.


I’m not going to talk to her until she starts behaving reasonably.


Oh, be quiet! You’re behaving like a two-year-old.

▪ act to behave in a particular way, especially in a way that seems unusual, surprising, or annoying to other people:

Tina’s been acting very strangely lately.


What makes grown people act like that?

▪ treat to behave towards someone or deal with someone in a particular way:

She said that he’d treated her really badly throughout their two-year marriage.


I’m sick of my parents treating me like a child.

▪ conform to behave in the way that most other people in your group or society behave:

Young people sometimes want to rebel and therefore they refuse to conform.


Society typically brings pressure on individuals and groups to conform to civilised norms.

▪ conduct yourself formal to behave in a particular way, especially in a situation where people will notice and judge the way you behave:

Public figures have a duty to conduct themselves responsibly, even in their private lives.


By the end of the course, you should be able to conduct yourself with confidence in any meeting.

II. treat 2 S3 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ treat , ↑ treatment , ↑ mistreatment ; verb : ↑ treat , ↑ mistreat ; adjective : ↑ untreated , ↑ treatable ]

1 . [countable] something special that you give someone or do for them because you know they will enjoy it

as a treat

Steven took his son to a cricket match as a birthday treat.

2 . [singular] an event that gives you a lot of pleasure and is usually unexpected:

When we were kids, a trip to the beach was a real treat.

3 . [countable] a special food that tastes good, especially one that you do not eat very often:

The cafe serves an assortment of gourmet treats.

4 . my treat spoken used to tell someone that you will pay for something such as a meal for them:

Let’s go out to lunch – my treat.

5 . go down a treat British English informal if something goes down a treat, people like it very much:

That new vegetarian restaurant seems to be going down a treat.

6 . look/work a treat British English informal to look very good or work very well:

The sports ground looked a treat, with all the flags flying.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.