Definition of mishandle in English:



  • 1Manage or deal with (something) wrongly or ineffectively.

    ‘the officer had mishandled the situation’
    • ‘The Kremlin, which local people accuse of tragically mishandling the siege and its aftermath, was also targeted.’
    • ‘Anger at the Tories' role in mishandling the outbreak, as part of their larger mismanagement of services, played its part in the provincial elections at the end of 2003.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, legislators also criticised the Administration Wing for mishandling the situation.’
    • ‘Through misplaced moralism, political expediency, or apathy, America is ruinously mishandling the underground economy.’
    • ‘What comes across here is that actually many Iranian officials want Iraq to be a stable neighbor, and are worried that the US is mishandling it and that trouble will spread across the border to Iran.’
    • ‘They feel the executive is mishandling a situation that has the potential to damage their electoral chances.’
    • ‘But there's even less doubt that it's increasing the stakes for management that mishandles the process.’
    • ‘Can we impeach a government for fraudulently mishandling the nations finances?’
    • ‘When her office mishandled a serious case involving child abuse, she wrote to the child's parents apologising and later met them.’
    • ‘While you may not care, you could conceivably be impeached if this situation is mishandled.’
    • ‘During the convention, Democrats will be running a TV ad in 21 states charging the president has mishandled the economy.’
    • ‘Predictably, the farmers and the press are blaming the government for mishandling the crisis.’
    • ‘The FSA fined four companies for mishandling complaints.’
    • ‘I found myself in a situation that I'd never even considered, and totally mishandled it.’
    • ‘The conservative three-star general was reportedly criticized for mishandling the country's economy and for his lack of knowledge about market economies.’
    • ‘He has to stop blaming others and recognise that local councillors badly mishandled this situation.’
    • ‘They mishandled the trust that they were handed in a publicly held corporation with stockholder money, and of course the retirement funds of the very valuable employees.’
    • ‘You accused him of mishandling your trust fund.’
    • ‘He was quite blunt and critical about the way the authorities had mishandled the situation and gave many thought provoking suggestions as to how this problem could be remedied.’
    • ‘Last week, you were fairly critical of the Australian Sports Commission saying that they had mishandled the drug inquiry and they said you were ill-informed and had been in the loop since day one.’
    botch, bungle, fluff, fumble, make a mess of
    bully, persecute, treat badly, ill-treat, mistreat, maltreat, abuse, ill-use, misuse, knock about, knock around, hit, beat, strike, manhandle, maul, molest, injure, harm, hurt
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  • 2Manipulate roughly or carelessly.

    ‘the equipment could be dangerous if mishandled’
    • ‘The operative theory right now, is that it was not espionage involved, rather some employee who perhaps mishandled the disks, and then felt like he was going to get in trouble, so he secretly put them back.’
    • ‘The defense argued that police mishandled blood drops from the crime scene, making the results of DNA testing unreliable.’
    • ‘Another man has been charged with mishandling fireworks.’
    • ‘Those responsible for exploiting and endangering consumers, and mishandling animals, will be tracked down and prosecuted.’
    • ‘His injuries probably result from mishandling explosives.’
    • ‘The investigation found five cases of mishandling the sacred book, but no evidence that personnel flushed a copy down a toilet.’
    • ‘And there's always the danger that electronic evidence will be overlooked or mishandled, reducing its usefulness in a court case.’
    • ‘Despite their sometimes colorful labels, many garden chemicals are highly dangerous if mishandled and have no place in a garden with young children.’
    • ‘The main reason they failed most of the time is that players missed shots or mishandled passes.’
    • ‘The public has often complained about police personnel mishandling crowds during rallies, protests or strikes.’
    • ‘Failures during this period are more likely to occur from a television being dropped or mishandled than from a failure of parts.’
    • ‘The big story today has to do with soldiers mishandling terrorists' holy texts at a detention center.’
    misuse, abuse, use inexpertly, misapply, handle roughly, treat roughly
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