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

This is where Gladwell’s insistence on theory can be distorting, rather than clarifying. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "Who’s Lying to Us and Who’s Telling the Truth? Malcolm Gladwell Has Some Ideas," 4 Sep. 2019 Speaking on Tuesday, an unofficial representative for the protest movement accused the police again of unnecessary violence and said the government was distorting the actions of demonstrators. Ben Westcott, CNN, "With Hong Kong divided, Beijing tries new tactic to discredit protesters," 7 Aug. 2019 President Donald Trump is distorting the truth on U.S. economic growth and jobs, pointing to record-breaking figures that don’t exist and not telling the full story on black unemployment. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking Trump’s week of economic and other fictions," 13 Aug. 2018 The idea is that gravitational waves are distorting space-time so that one arm is getting shorter while the other is longer. Quanta Magazine, "Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity," 22 Oct. 2015 As for cameras out of reach, protesters point bright lasers at them to distort their footage. Yanan Wang, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Hong Kong protests ebb and flow, like water," 5 Aug. 2019 He’s as sharp as the reddish mountains on the horizon behind him are fuzzy, distorted by the heat shimmer. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "Bobby Witt Jr. Wins Gatorade's 2019 National Male Athlete of the Year," 10 July 2019 This is meant to distort a country’s discourse on China and to constrain action against Beijing. Jonathan D. T. Ward, National Review, "China and the Major Powers," 25 June 2019 Packing a punch Muons carry negative charge, meaning their paths are distorted by electric fields. Adam Mann, National Geographic, "Most powerful electrical storm on record detected," 23 Apr. 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

11 Sep 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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