deal with - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theydeal with
he/she/itdeals with
present participledealing with
past tensedealt with
past participledealt with
  1. 1
    deal with something to take action to do something, especially to solve a problem

    The government must now deal with the problem of high unemployment.

    I spent the morning dealing with my emails.

    be best dealt with (=most effectively):

    This is a matter that would be best dealt with by the police.

    1. a.
      deal with someone to take the action that is necessary when you are involved with a particular person or type of person

      He believes young offenders should be dealt with quickly and harshly.

  2. 2
    deal with something to accept and control a difficult emotional situation so that you can start to live a normal life again despite it

    She’s dealing with her father’s death very well.

    He’s not great at dealing with stress.

  3. 3
    deal with someone to buy goods or services from someone, or to sell them to someone

    We have dealt with the company for years.

  4. 4
    deal with something to be about a subject

    Chapter 5 deals only briefly with this issue.

    1. a.
      to talk about something

      We’ll deal with the question of poverty in a moment.

See also main entry: deal