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 deform (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 Fueled by the desire to suppress the vote and find end runs around the popular will, Republicans across the country are working to deform the state judiciary. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Right-Wing War on State Courts," 18 Mar. 2021 Located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, The observatory consists of four Unit Telescopes, each having 27-foot mirrors (8.2 meters) that can warp and deform to correct for turbulence caused by Earth’s atmosphere. Tim Childers, Popular Mechanics, "Why Scientists Are Shooting Lasers at This Extremely Badass Nebula," 23 Nov. 2020 Others worry that injecting pay can deform how and why the work is done in the first place. Clive Thompson, Wired, "The Few, the Tired, the Open Source Coders," 17 Nov. 2020 If the suture is broken, another protective mechanism also allows for the blades to deform slowly. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "This super-beetle can survive being run over by a car -- and help with engineering problems," 21 Oct. 2020 For example, an isotope’s additional neutrons can deform its nucleus or can even be oddly distributed throughout. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Possibility of Dark Bosons Entices Physicists," 30 Sep. 2020 The Perfect Garden Hose comes with nice thick brass fittings that will withstand the weight of most vehicles, although the brass collar over the hose may deform a little. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Garden Hoses for More Than Just Your Garden," 26 June 2020 Often, the choice has been between bullets that fragment, or bullets that won’t deform even if driven into a railroad tie. Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "Why The 10mm is The Ultimate Handgun Cartridge for Hunting and Personal Defense (Plus 8 of Best Pistols You Can Buy)," 23 June 2020 Burnett’s film is a cinematic work of historiography, charting how authors’ creations both form and deform the historical record—and shape or warp public opinion. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: Charles Burnett’s Reckoning with History in “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property”," 19 June 2020

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

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce deform (audio) \
deformed; deforming

Kids Definition of deform

: to spoil the form or the natural appearance of

More from Merriam-Webster on deform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deform

Nglish: Translation of deform for Spanish Speakers

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