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maul (verb) injure badly; handle roughly; criticize severely.
An animal mauls a person when it injures them by tearing their flesh and causing bleeding. 'The wolf mauled the child.' This means that the wolf injured the child severely. When a person mauls you, he handles you roughly and makes you feel very unpleasant. When someone tries to enter a place without proper permission, the guards there maul them. That is, the guards there handle them roughly. They may push and pull them. When a critic mauls a writer, an actor, etc., for their performance, the critic says all unfavorable things about them. They have nothing good to say about the performance of the actor or the writer.
- In her tour of the jungle, a tiger mauled her, and her arm was severely injured; there was a lot of bleeding, and the flesh from near the shoulder was hanging loosely.
- The critics had nothing favorable to say about the play. They mauled it so severely that the playwright was driven to suicide.