distort

verb
dis·​tort | \ di-ˈstȯrt How to pronounce distort (audio) \
distorted; distorting; distorts

Definition of distort

transitive verb

1 : to twist (see twist entry 1 sense 3b) out of the true meaning or proportion : to alter to give a false or unnatural picture or account distorted the facts
2 : to twist out of a natural, normal, or original shape or condition a face distorted by pain also : to cause to be perceived unnaturally the new lights distorted colors The singer's voice was electronically distorted.
3 : pervert distort justice

intransitive verb

: to become distorted Heat caused the wax figures to distort. also : to cause a twisting from the true, natural, or normal

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Other Words from distort

distorter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for distort

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 distort in a Sentence

Her face was distorted by pain. The odd camera angle distorted her figure in the photograph. The sound of the guitar was distorted. Heat caused the plastic to distort. She felt he was distorting the facts. The story was distorted by the press. The loss of both her parents at an early age distorted her outlook on life.
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Recent Examples on the Web In fact, your proposal would distort bipartisan legislation that was led by former Senators Lamar Alexander, Ted Kennedy, and Robert Byrd. CNN, "READ: McConnell letter to the Education Department regarding '1619 Project' programs," 30 Apr. 2021 But — in one of the script’s effective literary touches — real-life anxieties further distort those fictional realms, including by foregrounding the hostility of Wonderland folk. Washington Post, "Constellation’s ‘Children of Medea’ spins a dreamscape family portrait," 26 Apr. 2021 When that occurs, the extreme curvature induced in the intervening spacetime can distort and magnify the background light through the process of gravitational lensing. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "Where Do Galaxies Come From?," 15 Apr. 2021 This whole dynamic can distort and exhaust even the healthiest of humans. Alyson Stoner, PEOPLE.com, "Alyson Stoner Pens Eye-Opening Op-Ed on 'Harrowing' Childhood Stardom: 'Revisit the Script'," 7 Apr. 2021 To those who knew Uzoka and Koh, each man appeared to have let ideas of masculinity and honor distort his judgment. New York Times, "The Tragedy of Harry Uzoka," 20 Apr. 2021 The surprising reaction may be a result of how unpredictable data can be as the pandemic and government efforts to counteract it distort everything. CBS News, "Dow passes 34,000 as U.S. economy regains signs of life and normalcy," 15 Apr. 2021 The latter comprises suspended tubular triangles and rectangles on a veil of strings, which distort the dangling shapes into curving lines. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, "32 Stunning Hotel Lobbies," 19 Mar. 2021 May is a month of rapid plant growth, and netting early may constrict and distort this annual spurt, according to Stanton Gill, a University of Maryland extension specialist. Washington Post, "The cicadas are coming. But gardeners need not panic.," 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distort.' 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 distort

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for distort

Latin distortus, past participle of distorquēre, from dis- + torquēre to twist — more at torture entry 1

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Time Traveler for distort

Time Traveler

The first known use of distort was in 1567

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Statistics for distort

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distort.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distort. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for distort

distort

verb

English Language Learners Definition of distort

: to change the natural, normal, or original shape, appearance, or sound of (something) in a way that is usually not attractive or pleasing
: to change (something) so that it is no longer true or accurate

distort

verb
dis·​tort | \ di-ˈstȯrt How to pronounce distort (audio) \
distorted; distorting

Kids Definition of distort

1 : to twist out of shape
2 : to change so as to make untrue or inaccurate Reports distorted the facts.

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Comments on distort

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