de·​form | \ di-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce deform (audio) , dē- \
deformed; deforming; deforms

Definition of deform

transitive verb

1 : to spoil the form of
2a : to spoil the looks of : disfigure a face deformed by bitterness
b : to mar the character of a marriage deformed by jealousy
3 : to alter the shape of by stress

intransitive verb

: to become misshapen or changed in shape

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Other Words from deform

deformable \ di-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce deformable (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for deform

deform, distort, contort, warp means to mar or spoil by or as if by twisting. deform may imply a change of shape through stress, injury, or accident of growth. a face deformed by hatred distort and contort both imply a wrenching from the natural or normal, but contort suggests a more involved twisting and a more grotesque and painful result. the odd camera angle distorts the figure disease had contorted her body warp indicates an uneven shrinking that bends or twists out of a flat plane. warped floorboards

Examples of deform in a Sentence

The disease eventually deforms the bones. The disease eventually causes the bones to deform.
Recent Examples on the Web The press must squeeze the component where needed with robotic control, deforming the part bit by bit. Glenn S. Daehn, The Conversation, "‘Robotic blacksmithing’: A technology that could revive US manufacturing," 11 Dec. 2019 Two types of cracks occur in steel: ductile fractures, which occur after the steel has yielded and deformed, and brittle fractures, which generally happen before the steel yields. John Brant, Popular Mechanics, "It Was Supposed to Be the Safest Building in the World. Then It Cracked.," 25 Oct. 2019 Two of the skulls were deformed, but in different ways — one resembled an elongated egg, and the other had a flattened forehead, causing the cranium to grow higher. Martin Finucane,, "Medieval Croatian skulls indicate that people intentionally modified their head shapes. But why?," 29 Aug. 2019 Sickle cell disease, a genetic condition that deforms the red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body, affects as many as 100,000 Americans, mainly blacks. Michelle Cortez,, "Bluebird Sickle Cell Gene Therapy Ends Painful Attacks for Some," 7 Dec. 2019 Stretching or compressing rubber moves and uncoils the strings, but their links force the rubber to bounce back to its original position without permanently deforming. Michael Ford, The Conversation, "Soft robots of the future may depend on new materials that conduct electricity, sense damage and self-heal," 7 Nov. 2019 Her left ear was deformed and cut; her nose was broken; her lower lip split open; and her left cheek discolored. Meagan Flynn,, "Wisconsin cold case solved when anonymous tipster said Florida woman talked about killing someone in Illinois 20 years ago, police say," 12 Nov. 2019 Doctors blame increasing pollution for children becoming deformed in Jharia. Gurvinder Singh, Quartz India, "The coal mining region in India where the ground beneath shakes and belches fire," 4 Oct. 2019 Often, the single eyeball stared unnervingly out from the middle of the face, sometimes with a fleshy forehead proboscis above it — a nose at once displaced and deformed. Eric Boodman, STAT, "Leave a Comment," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deform.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deform

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for deform

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French desfurmer, from Latin deformare, from de- + formare to form, from forma form

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Time Traveler for deform

Time Traveler

The first known use of deform was in the 15th century

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Statistics for deform

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deform.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for deform


How to pronounce deform (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deform

: to change something so that it no longer has its normal or original shape


de·​form | \ di-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce deform (audio) \
deformed; deforming

Kids Definition of deform

: to spoil the form or the natural appearance of

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More from Merriam-Webster on deform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deform

Spanish Central: Translation of deform

Nglish: Translation of deform for Spanish Speakers

Comments on deform

What made you want to look up deform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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