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verb ma·nip·u·late \mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt\

Simple Definition of manipulate

  • : to move or control (something) with your hands or by using a machine

  • medical : to move (muscles and bones) with your hands as a form of treatment

  • : to use or change (numbers, information, etc.) in a skillful way or for a particular purpose

Full Definition of manipulate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner

  3. 2 a :  to manage or utilize skillfully b :  to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage

  4. 3 :  to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose :  doctor

ma·nip·u·lat·able play \-ˌlā-tə-bəl\ adjective
ma·nip·u·la·tion play \-ˌni-pyə-ˈlā-shən\ noun
ma·nip·u·la·tive play \-ˈni-pyə-ˌlā-tiv, -lə-\ adjective
ma·nip·u·la·tive·ly adverb
ma·nip·u·la·tive·ness noun
ma·nip·u·la·tor play \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
ma·nip·u·la·to·ry play \-lə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-\ adjective

Examples of manipulate

  1. The baby is learning to manipulate blocks.

  2. The mechanical arms are manipulated by a computer.

  3. The doctor manipulated my back.

  4. The program was designed to organize and manipulate large amounts of data.

  5. He's always been good at manipulating numbers in his head.

  6. As part of the experiment, students manipulated light and temperature to see how it affected the plants.

  7. She knows how to manipulate her parents to get what she wants.

  8. He felt that he had been manipulated by the people he trusted most.

  9. The editorial was a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion.

  10. He's accused of trying to manipulate the price of the stock.

Origin of manipulate

back-formation from manipulation, from French, from manipuler to handle an apparatus in chemistry, ultimately from Latin manipulus

First Known Use: 1834

Rhymes with manipulate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb ma·nip·u·late \mə-ˈnip-yə-ˌlāt\

Medical Definition of manipulate


  1. 1:  to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner <manipulate the fragments of a broken bone into correct position>

  2. 2a:  to manage or utilize skillfullyb:  to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage

  3. ma·nip·u·la·tive \-ˈnip-yə-ˌlāt-iv, -lət-\play play adjective
    ma·nip·u·la·tive·ness noun

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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