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

The illustration, shown in a video released by the White House Wednesday afternoon, instantly caught the attention of many, including late-night hosts, who ridiculed the president for once again appearing to distort facts. al, "Late night hosts ridicule Trump’s Alabama Sharpie Dorian map," 5 Sep. 2019 Taking blame from the buyer of slaves, and placing it on the seller, distorts history. Kelley Fanto Deetz, The Conversation, "Setting the historical record straight for the critics of The New York Times project on slavery in America," 23 Aug. 2019 And commentators like Fran Lebowitz and Fiddler scholar Alisa Solomon provide valuable historical perspective on a milieu often viewed through the distorting lens of nostalgia. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 And the mirrors also distort our perspective on the space. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "This London Flat is the Site of A Director's First Cinematic Love," 20 May 2019 North Korea has also demanded the removal of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations, accusing him of distorting Pyonhyang's statements and holding a hard-line stance on sanctions. Fox News, "NK follows talk of restarting nuke talks by firing off 2 projectiles," 10 Sep. 2019 My garments blur the line between sportswear and fashion, distorting traditional perceptions on female sexuality and what that looks like. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Designer Georgia Fallon Makes Bright Bodysuits That Celebrate the Beauty of Lesbian Culture," 10 Sep. 2019 Depending on the shirt, the lighting, the angle from which the photo is taken and other factors, still photography can distort. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Only one clear takeaway regarding Rob Gronkowski’s dramatic weight loss," 1 July 2019 However, that may be an unusual preference, considering a new study that breaks down how much taking a selfie can distort our perception of our noses. Marci Robin, Allure, "If Your Nose Seems to Look Different in Selfies, This Could Be Why," 5 Mar. 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

9 Oct 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

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