Mistreatment is being cruel or thoughtless toward a person, animal, or even an object. Your little brother's habit of picking the cat up by his tail is an example of mistreatment.

Mistreatment of the family car might include driving it on the beach, while mistreatment of one's children could be as serious as abuse. If you don't treat someone well, it can be called mistreatment. The word itself comes from the Old English prefix mis-, "bad or wrong," and treat, "to handle or deal with."

Definitions of mistreatment
  1. noun
    the practice of treating (someone or something) badly
    “he should be punished for his mistreatment of his mother”
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    annoyance, annoying, irritation, vexation
    the act of troubling or annoying someone
    disregard, neglect
    willful lack of care and attention
    exploitation, using, victimisation, victimization
    an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly)
    harassment, molestation
    the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
    abuse, ill-treatment, ill-usage, maltreatment
    cruel or inhumane treatment
    contemptuous disregard
    the exploitation of black people (especially with regard to stereotyped roles in movies)
    the commercial exploitation of sex or sexuality or explicit sexual material
    child abuse
    the physical or emotional or sexual mistreatment of children
    child neglect
    failure of caretakers to provide adequate emotional and physical care for a child
    the act of persecuting (especially on the basis of race or religion)
    cruelty, inhuman treatment
    a cruel act; a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering
    harassment especially of a tethered animal
    badgering, bedevilment, torment, worrying
    the act of harassing someone
    actions that cause great irritation (or even anger)
    red flag
    something that irritates or demands immediate action
    sexual harassment
    unwelcome sexual behavior by a supervisor toward an employee
    ribbing, tantalization, tease, teasing
    the act of harassing someone playfully or maliciously (especially by ridicule); provoking someone with persistent annoyances
    searching out and harassing dissenters
    exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one; the use of the weaker country's resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger country
    type of:
    pattern, practice
    a customary way of operation or behavior
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