Definition of distort
1 : to twist (see 1twist 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>
: to become distorted <Heat caused the wax figures to distort.>; also : to cause a twisting from the true, natural, or normal
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.
Origin and Etymology of distort
Latin distortus, past participle of distorquēre, from dis- + torquēre to twist — more at torture
First Known Use: 1567
Synonym Discussion of distort
DISTORT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of distort for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of distort for Students
1 : to twist out of shape
2 : to change so as to make untrue or inaccurate <Reports distorted the facts.>
Word Root of distort
The Latin word torquēre, meaning “to twist,” and its form tortus give us the root tort. Words from the Latin torquēre have something to do with twisting. A retort, or angry reply to another's words, twists those words back at the person. To contort is to twist the body in unusual ways. To distort is to twist something, such as the truth, so much that it appears to be something else.
Seen and Heard
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