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Dealt vs. dealed

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  • Dealt is the more common past tense and past participle of the verb deal. This is the case throughout the English-speaking word. Dealed appears occasionally—especially in the phrase wheeled and dealed (mainly for the rhyme)—but it has never gained wide acceptance, and some might consider it incorrect. It might someday enter the language, but so far it has not caught on the way similar forms such as learned, smelled, and spelled have.

    Examples

    In writing from this century, dealed almost always appears along with wheeled—for example:

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    Cole Hamels wheeled, dealed and dazzled Tuesday night. [NBC Philadelphia]

    Round-by-round the New England Patriots wheeled and dealed with other teams. [Deacon Sports]

    Elsewhere, dealt prevails. Here are a few examples:

    It believes the process could have been dealt with more quickly. [Financial Times]

    As police dealt with the driver, the passenger jumped out of the car and ran. [CBC]

    An Arapahoe County District Court judge dealt a blow to prosecutors this week when he threw out all the charges against a medical-marijuana doctor. [Denver Post]

    The Rebels bikie gang has been dealt a blow after police allegedly arrested five of its members. [Sydney Morning Herald]

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