c.1300, "negotiate, bargain, deal with," from Old French traiter (12c.), from Latin tractare "manage, handle, deal with," originally "drag about," frequentative of trahere (past participle tractus) "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "to entertain with food and drink by way of compliment or kindness (or bribery)" is recorded from c.1500. Sense of "deal with in speech or writing" (early 14c.) led to the use in medicine (1781), "to attempt to heal or cure." Related: Treated; treating.