Definition of maul in US English:

maul

verb

[with object]
  • 1(of an animal) wound (a person or animal) by scratching and tearing.

    ‘the herdsmen were mauled by lions’
    • ‘Her hands and feet were also badly mauled by stray dogs.’
    • ‘The beast just overwhelmed him, just mauled him as he slept.’
    • ‘At Babylon there is a famous basalt statue of a man being mauled by a lion.’
    • ‘A fourth person was mauled to death by a crocodile, the paper reported.’
    • ‘You see from time to time children being mauled by dogs.’
    • ‘Why should he risk being mauled to death if he doesn't need to?’
    • ‘We would tell them that an animal has mauled a person at the zoo and they would have to find out from the footprints and animal imprints what kind of animal did it.’
    • ‘As the world knows, he was mauled on stage last month by one of his pets.’
    • ‘Dogs and foxes always go for the neck, but this time whatever attacked the sheep pounced on it from behind, pinning it down and mauling both sides of the back.’
    • ‘We had to get rid of her though after she almost mauled the mailman.’
    • ‘A mother whose two dogs mauled a young girl today pleaded for them not to be destroyed and claimed: ‘My dogs are not dangerous.’’
    • ‘How could I not feel so bad when I had just found out my brother was mauled by two dogs?’
    • ‘The patient was mauled by a pet Labrador in June, leaving her with severe facial injuries that her doctors said made it difficult for her to speak and eat.’
    • ‘A woman has told today how her pet dog's life is hanging in the balance after it was badly mauled by another canine in an unprovoked attack.’
    • ‘As for personal experience, I was once nearly mauled by a bear while camping.’
    • ‘Calls have been made for a change in the law on dangerous dogs after a 12-year-old boy was savagely mauled.’
    • ‘Bears shall maul the wicked, and the wolves shall consume them.’
    • ‘He won't maul intruders, but he won't leave surprises on the carpet either.’
    • ‘Trembling slightly, Ian continued to crouch down, doubled-up in an almost foetal position, and waited to be mauled.’
    • ‘They would gang up on a lone rhino and maul it to death.’
    savage, attack, tear to pieces, lacerate, claw, mutilate, mangle, scratch
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Treat (someone or something) roughly.
      • ‘This was not the first time Darwin had been severely damaged by a cyclone: it was badly mauled in both January 1897 and March 1937.’
      • ‘Only days before Custer's loss, Crook's cavalry was mauled near the Rosebud River.’
      • ‘But the guilt has been creeping up on me, grasping at my skin, gnawing away at my bones, chewing on my heart, mauling my conscience, and spitting out my toenails one by one.’
      • ‘Right when I walked into the gymnasium, I was practically mauled by Rory and Sara.’
      • ‘In best campfire tradition, we tell stories - not ghost stories, but mauling stories.’
      • ‘Some more chaste readers may blanch at this next revelation, but I maul books: I scribble in margins, bend pages, use inside covers as note-pads.’
      • ‘This comes after the Opposition was mauled yesterday in Question Time when Labor backbenchers were really looking to make budgetary inroads on the equity angle.’
      • ‘More riots are expected as a 30% transport and bread price increase mauls family budgets.’
      • ‘‘We all had it,’ she says, sitting on a rug in front of her mud hut while her granddaughter mauls a stalk of sugarcane.’
      • ‘This was a response to another government institution mauling community activities and local concerns.’
      • ‘Sometimes I feel like a cat that is being mauled by a small child.’
      • ‘So when a little boy mauled his science notebook, scrawled a message on one of the pages, and rushed into the shot, he was severely reprimanded.’
      molest, feel, fondle
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Defeat heavily in a game or match.
      ‘the team were mauled 4-0 by Manchester City’
      • ‘Wales have shown signs of recovering from the terrible mauling they received at the hands of an Irish side that was, in turn, given something of a good hiding by England at Twickenham.’
      • ‘His fury came as his side went down to their biggest home defeat since the 53-25 mauling by Exeter in 1977.’
      • ‘A 60 points mauling at Hull on Sunday doesn't suggest some of his team have the stomach for a fight.’
      • ‘The last thing Manchester need is a mauling from a side that has stacked up more than 500 points this season.’
      • ‘They approached this game with some trepidation following a 6-1 mauling at the hands of the same opposition only three weeks earlier.’

noun

  • A tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges; a beetle.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘hammer or wooden club’, also ‘strike with a heavy weapon’): from Old French mail, from Latin malleus ‘hammer’.

Pronunciation

maul

/môl//mɔl/