Definition of maul in English:

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Pronunciation: /môl/


[with object]
1(Of an animal) wound (a person or animal) by scratching and tearing: the herdsmen were mauled by lions
More example sentences
  • At Babylon there is a famous basalt statue of a man being mauled by a lion.
  • A mother whose two dogs mauled a young girl today pleaded for them not to be destroyed and claimed: ‘My dogs are not dangerous.’
  • 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.
savage, attack, tear to pieces, lacerate, claw, scratch
1.1Treat (someone or something) roughly.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • ‘We all had it,’ she says, sitting on a rug in front of her mud hut while her granddaughter mauls a stalk of sugarcane.
  • More riots are expected as a 30% transport and bread price increase mauls family budgets.
molest, feel, fondle, manhandle
informal grope, paw


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


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

  • mall from mid 17th century:

    The game pall-mall was popular in the 17th century. Players used a mallet to drive a boxwood ball through an iron ring suspended at the end of a long alley, itself also called a pall-mall. The game got its name, via French, from the Italian for ‘ball’ and ‘mallet’. Pall Mall, a street in central London known for its large number of private clubs and formerly a fashionable place to promenade, was originally a pall-mall for the game. From the 18th century other sheltered places for walking came to be called malls—the first reference to a mall for shopping dates from 1950 in the USA. Malleable (Late Middle English) got its name from the same source as mall, for it originally meant ‘able to be hammered’ and goes back, like mallet (Late Middle English) and maul (Middle English), to Latin malleus ‘hammer’.

Words that rhyme with maul

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, befall, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: maul

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