de·form | \di-ˈfȯrm, dē-\

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 \-mə-bəl \ 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

These viruses can paralyze bees, deform their wings or directly attack their young. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Why are these 250,000 bees hanging out on this sweet Downtown Boise rooftop?," 11 July 2018 The list of pathogens carried by bees includes fungal infections and wing-deforming viruses, many of which get moved around with international trade. Thor Hanson, WSJ, "The Plight of the Humble Bee," 29 June 2018 The seismic waves from a nearby earthquake will deform the cable minutely, leaving the returning light slightly out of phase with the light emitted by the laser. The Economist, "Submarine cables could be repurposed as earthquake detectors," 16 June 2018 The vitamin A then gets recycled and reshaped, ready to be deformed by light once again. Eric Boodman, STAT, "After nerve-wracking eye surgery, the world comes into focus for early gene therapy recipient," 17 May 2018 To make a giant mirror that wouldn’t deform under its own weight, the TMT’s partners looked for inspiration in a fly’s eye, fragmenting the main 30-meter mirror into nearly 500 small, 1.4-meter hexagonal pieces, each individually adjustable. Eric Hand, Science | AAAS, "Rival giant telescopes join forces to seek U.S. funding," 21 May 2018 In Norilsk, hundreds of residential buildings are visibly deformed because of ground thaw, according to the municipal government’s last count in 2015. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "Something Stirs: What Will Happen as Permafrost Thaws?," 15 May 2018 Topology is a field of mathematics that studies properties of an object that do not change even when that object is twisted or deformed. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "What Are the Limits of Manipulating Nature?," 8 May 2018 The gnarled versions prompt normal prion proteins to deform and malfunction, setting off a cascade that leads to telltale clumps of contorted proteins. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Camels in Africa may have been quietly spreading prion disease for decades," 26 Apr. 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for deform



English Language Learners Definition of deform

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


de·form | \di-ˈfȯrm \
deformed; deforming

Kids Definition of deform

: to spoil the form or the natural appearance of

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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