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

Complaints that Chinese trade practices distort global markets are at the heart of the Trump administration’s trade dispute with China. Chao Deng, WSJ, "China Defends WTO Record as Trade Fight Looms," 28 June 2018 The biggest problem, says Steffen Hertog of the London School of Economics, is the Gulf’s distorted labour market. The Economist, "Breaking the curseWhy Gulf economies struggle to wean themselves off oil," 21 June 2018 By sharing customer order information, traders were able to distort the $5.3 trillion foreign exchange market to their benefit. BostonGlobe.com, "Senators band together to fight closure of Boston office that handles federal employee rights," 2 May 2018 Republicans are pushing back, accusing Democrats of distorting the judge’s words. New York Times, "Democrats Zero In on Kavanaugh’s Defense of Presidential Power," 11 July 2018 Why are some of the leaves on my peach trees crinkled up and distorted? Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "HG Sperry 0519," 18 May 2018 There are people who actually inject oils into their muscles and make their muscles very distorted looking. Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle, "How to look your absolute best at any age? We asked the experts.," 15 May 2018 These have both enlightened and distorted the way in which individuals’ perceptions of each other evolve. Melania Hidalgo, The Cut, "Can We Capture Humanism?," 11 May 2018 There’s his face, distorted in the tiny fun-house-mirror glass, which makes his bug eyes bulge all the more comically. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Judgement and Epiphany on Pittsburgh’s Number 79 Bus," 11 May 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

11 Sep 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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