deal with

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deal with (third-person singular simple present deals with, present participle dealing with, simple past and past participle dealt with)

  1. (transitive) To handle verbally or in some form of artistic expression; to address or discuss as a subject.
    Synonyms: address, cover, handle, plough, treat
    This book deals with incest.
    • 1950 January, “Monthly Publication Resumed”, in Railway Magazine, page 1:
      With the return to monthly publication it is our intention to extend the variety of subjects dealt with, and it will also be possible to attain greater topicality.
  2. (transitive) To take action with respect to (someone or something).
    Synonyms: engage, handle, take on, work
    The teacher knew how to deal with these lazy students.
    • 1964 September, “Motive Power Miscellany: BR Workshops”, in Modern Railways, page 220:
      Work on anti-frost precautions on diesel locomotives is to be speeded up to ensure that most if not all locomotives have been dealt with before the winter sets in.
    • 2013 August 10, “Can China clean up fast enough?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      It is therefore dealing with pollution in two ways—suppression and mitigation.
  3. (transitive) To consider, as an example.
    Synonyms: consider, look at, take
    Let us deal with the case of China.
  4. (transitive) To come to terms with; to overcome any difficulties presented by.
    Synonyms: come to terms with, contend with, cope with, get by with, grapple with, make do with, make out with, manage with
    We deal with having just a gallon of gas.
    Thankfully he'd dealt with such issues before, so he had all the necessary experience.
  5. (transitive) To be in charge of, act on, or dispose of.
    Synonyms: care for, handle, look after, manage, take care of
    I can deal with this crew of workers.
  6. (transitive) To behave in a certain way towards.
    Synonym: interact with
    He deals fairly with his employees.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Ezekiel 23:25:
      And I will set my ielousie against thee, and they shall deale furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine eares, and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sonnes and thy daughters, and thy residue shal be deuoured by the fire.


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