distort

verb
dis·​tort | \ di-ˈstȯrt \
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

Already some TSOs are complaining to FERC that state energy policies are distorting their wholesale markets. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 But sceptics fret that MBA courses distort the purpose of apprenticeships. The Economist, "Britain’s apprenticeship levy is causing a boom in MBAs," 24 May 2018 There's so much mass in this region that the cluster is distorting light from objects behind it. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Hubble Telescope Discovers a Light-Bending 'Einstein Ring' in Space," 10 Apr. 2018 Among the concerns is that targeting could distort reality for voters. Christine Mai-duc, latimes.com, "Political campaigns will run more digital ads this year than ever. Here's how they'll find you," 26 Mar. 2018 In this fantastic reality, everything is slowly but continuously distorting itself. Devin Powell, Discover Magazine, "Shape Shifters," 28 Sep. 2018 When large pools of capital come into companies at early stages, that distorts markets. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Venture capital firm Upfront Ventures’ Mark Suster on Recode Decode," 20 Apr. 2018 Knowing what the penguins are eating helps gauge the health of this species as climate change distorts the landscape, and as commercial fishery operations go after krill for fish oil supplements. Brian Resnick, Vox, "You can join the scientific quest to track penguin poop from space. It could help protect the species.," 12 Dec. 2018 Laura Hudson, culture editor: There’s no shortage of haunted house tales or body-horror stories about distorting and violating the human form. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Smart scares for smart people," 31 Oct. 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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Learn More about distort

Statistics for distort

Last Updated

16 Jan 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 \
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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