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

The photo had been poorly composed, shot from a canted angle that seemed to distort the corpse’s features. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 Feinstein distorted facts about AR-15, aka 'America's rifle,' NRA says. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: New allegations against Kavanaugh throw confirmation battle into chaos; Trump to address U.N.," 24 Sep. 2018 That’s when a microphone becomes overwhelmed by too much noise, distorting the sound and potentially throwing off the algorithm’s readings. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students," 25 June 2019 That led her to conclude that historians who had written about the frequency of abortions during this period were distorting history, driven by their own political views. Karin Wulf, Twin Cities, "Karin Wulf: What Naomi Wolf and Cokie Roberts teach us about the need for historians," 13 June 2019 Facebook will add graphics around the reader’s face, and even face-distorting masks to make the story more compelling to kids on the other end of the call. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook is audaciously launching a video gadget for your home, called Portal. Is that a good idea?," 8 Oct. 2018 But even simple tweaks to existing videos can create turmoil, as happened with the recent viral spread of a video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, distorted to make her speech stunted and slurred. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Top AI researchers race to detect ‘deepfake’ videos: ‘We are outgunned’," 13 June 2019 But critics believe the Commerce Department's proposal would lead to low response rates among immigrants and distort congressional apportionment in favor of Republicans. CBS News, "House Oversight votes to hold William Barr and Wilbur Ross in contempt," 12 June 2019 The provision that each state gets two senators further distorts the Electoral College and prevents equal representation in our government. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "The Crisis of Our Constitution," 10 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for distort

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distort

The first known use of distort was in 1567

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on distort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distort

Spanish Central: Translation of distort

Nglish: Translation of distort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distort for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distort

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