distort

verb
dis·​tort | \di-ˈstȯrt \

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

Scientists think crystals, like diamonds, might not distort the information so much. Fox News, "Scientists are using diamonds to send secret messages," 6 July 2018 Seeing every new development and policy dispute through the prism of self-regard deeply distorts the president’s view of reality. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump thinks lots of things are about him.," 27 June 2018 Partisan gerrymandering is distorting and undermining our representative democracy, giving politicians the power to choose their voters, instead of giving voters the power to choose their politicians. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court sidesteps decision on partisan gerrymandering in rulings on Wisconsin, Maryland cases," 18 June 2018 In other words, the distribution of stellar velocities gets seriously distorted. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Dark matter halos may leave twinkling wake in galaxies," 31 May 2018 Today, the heavily redacted official memory of the war functions as a distorting lens for Russia’s more recent military engagements, turning any conflict into a story of Russia’s heroic battle against its enemies. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Why have post-Soviet countries embraced populism and nostalgia?," 3 May 2018 The series begins with a bang, as Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is contacted by an anonymous caller who sits, Wizard-of-Oz-like, before a bank of computer monitors, distorting his voice and masking his location. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: The Criminal Life in Mumbai in ‘Sacred Games’," 6 July 2018 Sometimes a guy can have an incredible few weeks and our perception of him is distorted a little bit. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "11 compelling reasons to watch the World Cup," 6 June 2018 Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,’ the government said in a statement. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "One crazy summer for Trump and Mueller," 1 June 2018

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

6 Nov 2018

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 \
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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