Definition of treat in English:



  • 1Behave towards or deal with in a certain way.

    ‘she had been brutally treated’
    ‘he treated her with grave courtesy’
    • ‘I've treated him with the respect that he probably didn't deserve, and it wasn't easy.’
    • ‘Instead she targeted the very people who treated her with such compassion.’
    • ‘She slept with them even though they treated her with contempt.’
    • ‘It was a huge honour for me, and I felt a great deal of pressure but at the same time he treated me with respect with regard to my work.’
    • ‘Even his wife was surprised, since he had only ever treated her with gentleness.’
    • ‘She had treated me with contempt, and the only way to cope with my feelings was to be hateful towards her.’
    • ‘Another kind of justice is concerned with treating people as they deserve.’
    • ‘The youngsters were wonderful and treated me with great respect, which is more than I can say for some of the teachers - because I was on my own.’
    • ‘People treated us with respect and we treated them with respect, you know?’
    • ‘It is a credit to our high school teachers who treated us with the same respect they might treat their colleagues, no matter how crazy our ideas might have been.’
    • ‘Young people are quite capable of knowing the moral quality of that choice, yet we are in a society that patronises them by treating them as if they have no capacity to understand the nature of their actions.’
    • ‘They treated us with dignity, they treated us as if we were human.’
    • ‘She knows all 150 players personally, by name, and treats them as if they were her own children.’
    • ‘For far too long they've plundered the pockets of the citizens of this country and treated us with utter disrespect.’
    • ‘His audience treated him with caution and courtesy, while its skepticism and impatience steadily increased.’
    • ‘You have frequently treated me with indifference and made me feel unwelcome.’
    • ‘I always get him into trouble by saying he's a great reporter, because people think he treated us with a soft touch.’
    • ‘So far we have treated the issue as if it concerned the debtor alone.’
    • ‘She treated me with all the respect accorded more high profile visitors.’
    • ‘So when she gave birth to her second son several years later in Sheffield she treated him with kid gloves, determined nothing would ever happen to him.’
    behave towards, act towards, conduct oneself towards, use, serve
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    1. 1.1Regard something as being of a specified nature with implications for one's actions concerning it.
      ‘the names are being treated as classified information’
      • ‘Additionally, they treat such information as a snapshot of material to be worked on, not as decisive.’
      • ‘While utilitarianism may have unequal effects on people, it can nonetheless claim to be motivated by a concern for treating people as equals.’
      • ‘Much organization theory implicitly treats organizations as actors and managers as instruments through which organizations pursue their interests.’
      • ‘The sport's governing body treats such tests as assessing health, but they are regarded by anti-doping bodies as a proxy for detecting drug use.’
      • ‘During the past few decades, as far as novels are concerned, none treated the masses as the principal actors.’
      • ‘Indeed, for many years environmental concerns were treated as an irritant by most officials in charge of lending operations.’
      • ‘This is due to the trusting nature of the email system which treats every incoming connection as a valid connection.’
      • ‘Summarising, political correctness is a one-way street: they may use every form of rudeness but we must treat their concerns as sacred; this must be fought.’
      • ‘The concept was to treat the global network as if it were one giant information space.’
      • ‘I treated this information as a safety net in that it reassured me that the price we were suggesting for a contract was realistic based on previous project costs.’
      • ‘Immunisation regulations do not treat de facto partners as parents when providing information about their child's immunisation status.’
      • ‘Why not then treat our personal information as private property?’
      • ‘Will the Councillors ignore these people by treating their concerns as only emotional and with contempt go ahead with the Emigrant Creek effluent disposal option?’
      • ‘I treated that information as plausible conjecture and afforded it credibility as such.’
      • ‘I agree that this was a proper approach as it treats the corporation as a going concern and values its assets accordingly.’
      • ‘If not then they too should treat such information as mischievous.’
      • ‘The first person to give a clear presentation of the implications of treating declarative sentences as being neither true nor false was the Polish logician Jan Lukasiewicz in 1920.’
      • ‘Police initially treated the case as a missing person inquiry but mounting concern prompted a forensic examination of her home.’
      • ‘Householders are reminded that all information they provide for the survey will be treated as strictly confidential and used for statistical purposes only.’
      • ‘She found that prior to the awarding of the contract, the commissioner has treated the information as confidential.’
      regard, consider, view, look on
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    2. 1.2Present or discuss (a subject)
      ‘the issue is more fully treated in chapter five’
      • ‘A subtle colourist, he treated melancholy subjects in a fairytale manner, with fanciful and delicate landscapes.’
      • ‘The second chapter treats the apparently obligatory discussion of natural revelation, before the author returns to the topic of culture.’
      • ‘Here thematic chapters treat topics such as manors and granges, woods and parks, gardens and vineyards, and towns and transport, setting out in a big, fat book a valuable overview.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the end of the great age of empires undoubtedly has profound implications for the way in which the subject will be treated in future.’
      • ‘In my future work this subject shall be treated, as it well deserves, at much greater length.’
      • ‘The chapters do treat these issues briefly and with circumspection, but Leneman could have been bolder in pushing her analysis in this direction.’
      • ‘Other forms of secular polyphonic song, mostly treating the subject of courtly love, evolved at the end of the 13th century.’
      • ‘The comedian, who often treats the subject of terrorism in his material, has said the killing changed his outlook on life.’
      • ‘It is not just a matter of what subjects are explored by male and female authors, but how identical subjects are treated by them.’
      • ‘Subjects are not treated thematically, but rather simply as they occurred in Clinton's day.’
      • ‘At the end of the book Domninus says that he intends to treat some of the subjects more fully in Elements of Arithmetic but it is not known if he ever wrote it!’
      • ‘Little wonder, then, when television - the ultimate in consumption - treats a subject it very often does so by history.’
      • ‘Each chapter in this book treats a specialized topic having to do with high-speed signal propagation.’
      • ‘It does not treat the subject in any depth, nor does it present existing knowledge in a novel and accessible manner.’
      • ‘The film has its moments, but as a whole, even while treating a subject that ought to arouse considerable passion, it generates relatively little heat.’
      • ‘Most introductory texts on ethical, legal, and professional issues treat the subjects more comprehensively.’
      • ‘Chapter 6 treats the topic of ovarian function in women.’
      • ‘And, of course, whose authoritative record are we referring to when treating a controversial subject?’
      • ‘And it succeeds in treating this often delicate subject head-on but with the lightness of touch that you would expect from The Motley Fool.’
      • ‘Indeed, the subject has mostly been treated tangentially by authors whose principle interests lie elsewhere.’
      deal with, be about, cover, be concerned with, concern itself with, discuss, speak about, talk about, write about, go into, explore, investigate, tackle, handle
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  • 2Give medical care or attention to; try to heal or cure.

    ‘the two were treated for cuts and bruises’
    • ‘I am being treated with some anti-epilepsy drugs that have some success in treating neuropathic pain.’
    • ‘Her physical health is good in that she is not currently being treated for any medical condition, having had a thorough assessment at the hospital one year ago.’
    • ‘In my first visit, he treated me with acupuncture to reduce the heat of my hives and gave me Chinese herbs and homeopathic remedies.’
    • ‘Teratoma patients are mostly treated with chemotherapy, which requires being in hospital for a few days every three weeks to be injected with chemicals.’
    • ‘Patients who do receive care are often treated with substandard, even harmful, medicine.’
    • ‘We treated him with cream, painkillers and antibiotics.’
    • ‘It is nursing which has shown ways to involve parents in the care of their children who are being treated for cancer.’
    • ‘She says 2,000 Chinese addicts were treated with the non-narcotic to cope with withdrawal pains.’
    • ‘Patients are initially treated with appropriate antibiotic therapy.’
    • ‘Nationally around 50,000 people are treated with the drugs, the most widely used of which is donepezil that is sold under the trade name of Aricept.’
    • ‘In the West, precocious puberty is sometimes treated with regular injections to slow down physical development.’
    • ‘Within a week he was in intensive care, being treated for blood poisoning.’
    • ‘He explained that his daughter was treated with an oral supplement that was purchased over the internet from a US-based laboratory.’
    • ‘Now syphilis is readily treated with antibiotics if detected.’
    • ‘Some cases are treated with systemic agents, under close monitoring.’
    • ‘The drug was withdrawn earlier this year when it emerged that two patients being treated with the drug had died of a brain infection.’
    • ‘At first doctors there thought he had croup and treated him with steroids but a CT scan revealed tumours on his lungs.’
    • ‘It is treated with physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropody and surgery or a combination of treatments.’
    • ‘His horse was treated with a sedative four weeks before the Games and he had been assured by his vet that all traces would be purged from its system by the time O'Connor entered the arena.’
    • ‘About half of these are treated for cure, and half for palliation.’
    cure, heal, remedy, make better
    attend to, tend, minister to, nurse, give treatment to
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  • 3Apply a process or a substance to (something) to protect or preserve it or to give it particular properties.

    ‘the lawns were treated with weedkiller every year’
    • ‘It is produced naturally in plants in response to pathogens, which may be more common in organic vegetables because they are not treated with pesticides.’
    • ‘Tomatoes are treated with ethylene chloride gas to make them look red.’
    • ‘Apricots are usually treated with sulphur dioxide, a preservative, before being sun dried.’
    • ‘Plants were also treated with the fungicide mefenoxam.’
    • ‘They are treated with mild chemicals like rosin, alum, starches, etc., and dried in the sun.’
    • ‘They aren't treated with growth hormones or antibiotics, and they don't contain additives.’
    • ‘It is applied to poultry flocks by a method known as ‘fogging’ in which sheds housing the birds are treated with a fine spray.’
    • ‘The experimental group is treated with a vaccine known to protect against the infection.’
    • ‘Moths are usually treated with a smoke or spray application.’
    prime, prepare, process, cover
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  • 4Provide someone with (food, drink, or entertainment) at one's own expense.

    ‘he treated her to a slap-up lunch’
    • ‘We were welcomed by church leaders, given a brief understanding of the basic procedures to respect the followers attending the service, and afterwards we were treated to drinks, food and a chance to ask individuals about their faith.’
    • ‘And when I treated her to some food and got to talking to her, she grew on me.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, visitors to Skipton were treated to a weekend of entertainment at the town's second Waterways Festival.’
    • ‘When they reached the Market Square they dismounted the bike and started on the 5km run around Clonnkedagh, where they were treated to some great entertainment and encouragement by the Samba Band.’
    • ‘Cabaret songs were not the only type of entertainment they were treated to; pantomimes, monologues, and even shadow plays augmented the presentations.’
    • ‘They had a gradual progression going and week after week we were treated to an entertaining show.’
    • ‘I can treat you to French food and wine and pastries and other things that are different than the food you have here.’
    • ‘She led him towards the bar so that he could treat her to a drink.’
    • ‘SIR - What a fantastic, long afternoon of musical entertainment Thornton Vocal Union treated us to at St George's Hall on December 12.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, back at the car park, we were treated to some splendid entertainment courtesy of the lads and lassies from the three competing nations.’
    • ‘Soon after he treated me to a drink and took me home.’
    • ‘We've just got back from staying with my family in Hertfordshire where we were treated to food, drink, good company and lots of games.’
    • ‘At the various delivery points, the consignee often treated them to food and drink in return for other messages carried for him on the side.’
    • ‘Thus, we were treated to complimentary popcorn and drinks and a general attitude of being better than everybody else.’
    • ‘However, before our food arrived we were treated to an ‘Amuse Bouche’ of cherry tomato with mozzarella and basil with Balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil.’
    • ‘The owner of the hotel decided to treat us to a bit of entertainment.’
    • ‘After the drama at the start of the second half, we were treated to a more entertaining spectacle, with both teams pressing for a second and gaps appearing all over the pitch.’
    • ‘After they received their award they were treated to a buffet and drinks.’
    • ‘However, I became emboldened and next treated them to a large amount of food and drink because I had many tickets.’
    • ‘He'd treated her to the expensive meal, and was now taking her to the theatre to see the play that they'd been talking about the night before.’
    buy, take out for, stand, give
    regale with, entertain by, entertain with, fete with, amuse by, amuse with, divert by, divert with
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    1. 4.1Give someone (something) as a favour.
      ‘he treated her to one of his smiles’
      • ‘Judge for yourself as the Gang of Three treat us to their own favourite jokes.’
      • ‘If the water is low and the wind favourable, they will be treated to a magnificent view of the falls and the yawning abyss below the Zambezi Bridge.’
      • ‘I only wish that the ‘new’ Crikey was sufficiently financed to send Therese around the world so we might be treated to even more of her unique brand of cultural insight.’
      • ‘If Tony is really lucky, Silvio might treat him to a rendition of his favourite Neapolitan songs.’
      • ‘So I climbed some 300 steps to get to the top, where I was treated to some gorgeous views of the Thai capital.’
    2. 4.2Do or have something that gives one great pleasure.
      ‘treat yourself—you can diet tomorrow’
      • ‘And it's not just celebrities who are treating themselves to a few sparklers.’
      • ‘An overweight widower in declining health, he lives alone, walks with a cane, treats himself to good cigars and talks to photographs of his dead wife.’
      • ‘I just love treating myself to some good health and environmental ethics now and then.’
      • ‘A fellow treats himself and his true love to dinner, a bottle and a night at the bug house at the end of another week of hard work and dutiful child-rearing, comes home happy and at peace, and what does he find?’
      • ‘Speaking of our fair city, December wouldn't be complete without a reminder to please drop off a few non-perishables to your local food bank before treating yourself to life's finer things.’
      • ‘So today we're back in Copenhagen treating ourselves to a spa.’
      • ‘They may choose the hard seat, or, if ‘splurging’ (to use backpackerese), treat themselves to the hard sleeper.’
      • ‘We are a chocolate shop but people aren't going to think about stopping and treating themselves if they're racing to get away from the smell.’
      • ‘‘The idea is that they are getting some products for free, so the shopper will perhaps splash out on a gift for someone or treat themselves to a luxury item they would not usually purchase,’ he said.’
      • ‘Yorkshire people emerged as being most likely to put off starting a pension, and they were also most likely to waste money treating themselves now.’
      • ‘I hope none of your theatre-going readers were deterred from treating themselves to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.’
      • ‘Admission is free and open to anyone interested in finding that unique gift for Christmas or treating themselves to a little something.’
      • ‘Rich people in the throes of divorce are prone to giving away money to relatives and friends or treating themselves to a new house or yacht.’
      • ‘It's worth treating yourself to some pampering.’
      • ‘Watch the movie, read the book, and you're treating yourself to a bittersweet experience, but one that'll be worth a repeat dose.’
      • ‘Quote: ‘A shipping clerk earning $25,000 a year treats herself to silk pajamas at Victoria's Secret.’’
      • ‘Due to family commitments, the newly-weds didn't manage a honeymoon but Tom, now 73, and Doreen, 75, plan on treating themselves this time around.’
      • ‘In blazing sunshine, punters packed the Berkshire racecourse sipping champagne and treating themselves to portions of strawberries and cream.’
      • ‘Whatever restaurant you eat in, whether its posh or not, the fact remains… you are treating yourself and it will cost more than if you made it at home.’
      treat oneself, give oneself a treat, luxuriate in something, give oneself up to pleasure
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  • 5[no object] Negotiate terms with someone, especially an opponent.

    ‘propagandists claimed that he was treating with the enemy’
    • ‘And now, because they are behaving like the yobbos they really are, we'll punish them by no longer treating with them.’
    • ‘He has 60 days from the receipt of the recommendations and three options in treating with the authority: accept, reject or modify.’
    • ‘But even it is treating with Mammon this year.’
    • ‘That is treating, and it is treating with taxpayers' money.’
    • ‘Father had had to find refuge with the people he had just been treating with.’
    negotiate, discuss terms, have talks, consult, parley, talk, confer
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  • 1An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.

    ‘he wanted to take her to the pictures as a treat’
    • ‘A breathtaking display of flowers in their varied forms and colours was a delightful treat for the visitors who thronged the YWCA grounds throughout the day.’
    • ‘And as a special DVD treat, look for the completed version of the party clown documentary that started this whole thing.’
    • ‘While most toddlers might get a trip to the pictures for their birthday treat, Brooklyn's superstar mum and dad have hired out the whole cinema for his big day.’
    • ‘It's an old-fashioned cinematic treat, and certainly one of the greatest surprises of the year.’
    • ‘Still, The Missouri Breaks is a rich, leisurely treat, with huge surprises.’
    • ‘To have all these impromptu pleasures on a Wednesday night is such a treat!’
    • ‘For those who love movies, the treat couldn't have been any better.’
    • ‘But don't let that put you off; it's an entertaining and varied treat, leftfield music of the most listenable variety.’
    • ‘The literary thriller is a double treat for book lovers: you get to curl up with a sophisticated thriller and a book about books.’
    • ‘If you want a trip with a difference, perhaps for a birthday gift or surprise anniversary treat, then these new products should suit you perfectly.’
    • ‘A treat is in store for the audience at her breakfast event.’
    • ‘The movie is a treat for adults and children alike.’
    • ‘The illustrations are another treat and bear many surprises.’
    • ‘Only a quarter of women feel they can rely on their partners to help them escape by organising a surprise trip or treat.’
    • ‘Emmerich's reign at the top of the mega-movie empire doesn't show any signs of dissipating with this unmissable treat, which is every bit as entertaining as was hoped.’
    • ‘Adding to his pleasure was the repeated treat of sleeping in his own bed.’
    • ‘I'm going to save the listening pleasure for a treat at the end of exams.’
    • ‘Over 150 varieties of irises hold court for the garden visitor, a surprising visual treat.’
    • ‘The story is told in splendid pictures - a treat to read to the young folk and to enjoy yourself.’
    • ‘This is no ordinary musician and a huge treat is in store for those who will attend.’
    pleasure, source of pleasure, delight, thrill, joy
    present, gift
    celebration, entertainment, amusement, diversion
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    1. 1.1An act of treating someone to something.
      ‘‘My treat,’ he insisted, reaching for the bill’
    2. 1.2North American A sweet, biscuit, or other item of sweet food.
      • ‘Save room for a dessert treat because the hot macadamia nut cookie is delicious.’
      • ‘Seasonal treats include candies, cookies, fruits, nuts, food snacks and drinks which overflow the gift basket.’
      • ‘Try to limit sweets and chocolate treats to just a couple of times a day.’
      • ‘A sweet treat on an empty stomach may trigger blood-sugar changes and energy swings, so it's best to enjoy it after a meal containing fibre.’
      • ‘As the weather cools, take comfort in these autumnal treats.’
      • ‘The list goes on with pages to cover pasta, vegetables, cookies, muffins, desserts, children's food and Xmas treats.’
      • ‘Around the holidays, butter sales tend to spike when many people pick up a few extra pounds of butter for their annual run of cookies, pies and other sweet treats.’
      • ‘The other chocolate treats of Torino are Bicerin and gelato.’
      • ‘It has arranged a packed programme of events, treats and visits during the children's stay.’
      • ‘Ice cream, sherbet, cookies and other sweet treats often come in no-fat or low-fat varieties.’
      • ‘Let's face it; Halloween has tricks, treats and lots of sweet meats.’
      • ‘And Mrs Habgood suggests eating sweet treats and Christmas pudding at tea-time.’
      • ‘The horse will start to look forward to the treat prior to the event.’
      • ‘They're a particularly great treat to pass out at parties because of the no-mess, no-plates factor.’
      • ‘To make eating more satisfying, Schatz suggests utilizing a greater variety of flavors and cutting back on salty foods and sweet treats.’
      • ‘On this date in 2004 we were sharing our experiences of making Thanksgiving sweets, candies and treats.’
      • ‘Last weekend, the Easter Bunny made a special stop on the North Shore with a mission to leave chocolate and other candy treats.’
      • ‘For dessert, Emma served up tasty treats, ‘peach delights’.’
      • ‘It was a small but nice cup of sips that helped me take a break from intensive waves of sweet and cold treats.’
      • ‘Christmas cakes, boxes of biscuits and other seasonal treats are also a welcomed addition during the Christmas season.’


  • —— a treat

    • 1informal Do something specified very well or satisfactorily.

      ‘their tactics worked a treat’
      • ‘As a way of keeping the jackdaws at bay, it works a treat.’
      • ‘The tactics worked a treat, as his mount stormed away in the closing stages.’
      • ‘Anyway she sent this new thing and it works a treat.’
      • ‘But for sending and receiving e-mails, it works a treat, provided you can live without attachments.’
      • ‘Lunges are a little tricky because obviously I can't bend the prosthetic ankle but aside from that it works a treat - very sturdy and responsive.’
      • ‘Bottom club York stunned third-placed Sheffield with their tactics of tight defence and speedy breakouts working a treat.’
      • ‘This may not be the medically recommended solution, but all I can say is that - on the fortunately rare occasions when it is needed - it works a treat for me.’
      • ‘So their visit to the north east was strictly a damage-limitation exercise - and to that extent their tactics worked a treat.’
      • ‘Monkhouse's new tactic worked a treat as she went on to take the set 5-3 to force a best-of-three-ends shoot-out.’
      • ‘If Queensland had deliberately targeted Johnson's suspect temperament ahead of the Test series, as some feared they might, then the tactic worked a treat initially.’
      1. 1.1Look attractive.
        ‘I don't know whether she can act, but she looks a treat’
        • ‘It is now looking at its best at the moment with its bright red berries looking a treat.’
        • ‘But it is a vast improvement on the post-war British version of the tale, it looks a treat and boasts a fantastic cast of character actors sinking their teeth into Dickens' gallery of grotesques and unfortunates.’
        • ‘All bright lights and slick moves, the film looks a treat as it offers a highly theatrical, stylised recreation of the lawless Roaring Twenties.’
        • ‘The Christmas Lights were turned on in Clonaslee last week and along with the new street lanterns look a treat.’
        • ‘He is 23 years young, like myself, and is just damn cute and sweet and looks a treat out there on the court.’
        • ‘‘I got a little detergent and started cleaning it with a tissue and now he/she looks a treat,’ he said.’
        • ‘A circular walk has been marked out and on the day of my visit in mid-March the sun was shining above a blue sky and the park looked a treat.’
        • ‘The first has all 15 episodes of the original 1949 B & R theatrical serial over its two discs and looks a treat.’
        • ‘However, the film looks a treat, Jack McElhone is an expressive, unaffected child actor and Gibb makes sure that the film still takes a persuasive hold on the heartstrings.’
        • ‘Silk trees are looking a treat at the moment, and despite their feathery foliage and powderpuff flowers they love the heat and are a perfect small tree for sunny back yards.’
  • treat something lightly

    • Regard something as unimportant.

      ‘this is a serious matter and he can't treat it lightly’
      • ‘The couple believe the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was treated too lightly by the courts.’
      • ‘The consulting center, in turn, tended to treat its role too lightly.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the significance of money should not be treated lightly.’
      • ‘He is not, then, someone who treats civil liberties lightly.’
      • ‘For children to turn up in multitudes to register their anger at adults should not be treated lightly.’
      • ‘Somehow the director, despite her undoubted sincerity, treats the events too lightly.’
      • ‘Most people do not, in fact, treat sex lightly.’
      • ‘Tillage farmers have an additional source of danger, which they often can treat far too lightly - the handling of spray chemicals.’
      • ‘Yet on Tuesday, he did us proud by standing up to the smear merchants of a Senate Committee which has treated justice lightly.’
      • ‘In addition, rape is often treated lightly in Mexico.’
      minimize, play down, underplay, make light of, make little of, dismiss, underestimate, undervalue, devalue, laugh off, belittle, trivialize, treat as unimportant, think little of, deprecate, scoff at
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Middle English (in the senses ‘negotiate’ and ‘discuss a subject’): from Old French traitier, from Latin tractare handle, frequentative of trahere draw, pull. The current noun sense dates from the mid 17th century.