Meaning of “treat” in the English Dictionary

"treat" in English

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uk /triːt/ us /triːt/

treat verb (DEAL WITH)

B2 [ T usually + adv/prep ] to behave towards someone or deal with something in a particular way:

My parents treated us all the same when we were kids.
He treated his wife very badly.
It's wrong to treat animals as if they had no feelings.
I treat remarks like that with the contempt that they deserve.

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treat verb (GIVE MEDICAL CARE)

B2 [ T ] to use drugs, exercises, etc. to cure a person of a disease or heal an injury:

He is being treated for a rare skin disease.
Western medicine tends to treat the symptoms and not the cause.

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treat verb (PAY FOR)

B2 [ T ] to buy or pay for something for another person:

Put your money away - I'm going to treat you (to this).
I'm going to treat myself to (= buy for myself) a new pair of sandals.

treat verb (PUT ON)

[ T ] to put a special substance on material such as wood, cloth, metal, etc. or put it through a special process, in order to protect it from damage or decay:

The material has been treated with resin to make it waterproof.


uk /triːt/ us /triːt/

treat noun (PAY FOR)

my, your, etc. treat [ S ]

an occasion when I, you, etc. buy or pay for something for another person:

No, you paid for dinner last time - this is my treat.


(Definition of “treat” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"treat" in American English

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us /trit/

treat verb (DEAL WITH)

[ T always + adv/prep ] to behave toward someone or deal with something in a particular way:

He treated his children badly.
She always tried to treat her students as/like adults.

treat verb (GIVE MEDICAL CARE)

[ T ] to do something to improve the condition of an ill or injured person, or to try to cure a disease:

The hospital treats hundreds of patients a day.
The new drug may allow us to treat diabetes more effectively.


[ T ] to change the condition of a substance by adding something to it or putting it through a special process:

The sewage is treated with chemicals before being dumped.

treat verb (PAY FOR)

[ I/T ] to buy or pay for something for someone:

[ T ] I’m going to treat myself to a new pair of sunglasses.


us /trit/


[ C ] a special and enjoyable occasion or experience:

It was a real treat seeing my old friends last weekend.

treat noun (PAYMENT)

[ U ] an occasion on which you pay for someone's food or entertainment:

You paid for the taxi, so lunch is my treat (= I will pay).

(Definition of “treat” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"treat" in Business English

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treatverb [ T ]

uk /triːt/ us

to behave towards or think of someone or something in a particular way:

treat sb/sth as sth We must treat employees as allies in achieving change.
treat sb/sth equally/fairly/unfairly It very hard to prove that the company had been treated unfairly.
treat sb/sth like sth The company treated their initial public offering more like a marketing opportunity than a capital-raising exercise.

to deal with something in a particular way:

Each Fund is treated as a single tax entity.
The employment department said the unemployment figures should be treated with caution.

PRODUCTION to put a special substance on something or put it through a special process, in order to protect it, clean it, or make it safe:

treat sth with sth We treat the material with resin to make it waterproof.

(Definition of “treat” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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All too often the airlines treat them very lightly, whether it is a matter of looking after their passengers or of providing them with information.
The problem is that these women are both victims and illegal immigrants, but most governments treat them principally as illegal immigrants only.
What is more, sport teaches people how to treat others more considerately and how to involve those with a disability: an important contribution to social integration.
Preventing research in this field means prohibiting in advance, in the name of reactionary ideas, everything that could in future help to treat or even cure these diseases.
Please take this very seriously, so that we can continue to receive guests in future and so that we can treat them as guests ought to be treated.
Why not therefore treat those who hold a long-stay visa as already resident so that they can enjoy the same right to freedom of movement?
Does that not cause them stress of a kind which creates a conflict for us when it comes to caring for animals and our ambition to treat animals well?
In addition, operators have to take monitoring, maintenance and remedial measures: for example, they are obliged to collect or treat contaminated water or leachate.
We need to treat countries equally at equal stages; we must use the same yardstick at the same stage for each country.
Parents must give some thought to how they treat their children and prevent their being treated unequally from the cradle onwards.