manipulate

verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt \
manipulated; manipulating

Definition of manipulate

transitive verb

1 : to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner manipulate a pencil manipulate a machine
2a : to manage or utilize skillfully quantify our data and manipulate it statistically— S. L. Payne
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage being used and manipulated by the knowing men around himNew Republic
3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose : doctor suspected that the police reports were manipulated— Evelyn G. Cruickshanks

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Other Words from manipulate

manipulatable \ -​ˌlā-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
manipulation \ -​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən \ noun
manipulative \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tiv , -​lə-​ \ adjective
manipulatively adverb
manipulativeness noun
manipulator \ -​ˌlā-​tər \ noun
manipulatory \ -​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms for manipulate

Synonyms

exploit, play (upon)

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Examples of manipulate in a Sentence

The baby is learning to manipulate blocks. The mechanical arms are manipulated by a computer. The doctor manipulated my back. The program was designed to organize and manipulate large amounts of data. He's always been good at manipulating numbers in his head. As part of the experiment, students manipulated light and temperature to see how it affected the plants. She knows how to manipulate her parents to get what she wants. He felt that he had been manipulated by the people he trusted most. The editorial was a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion. He's accused of trying to manipulate the price of the stock.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Parasitoids are known for manipulating the behavior of their hosts to gain an evolutionary advantage (think tapeworms, fleas and ticks, barnacles, Chinese liver flukes). Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Brazilian Wasp Exhibits Mind Control Over Unsuspecting Spiders," 30 Nov. 2018 Facebook, Google and Twitter have denied accusations of manipulating search results or their platforms to promote such ideas. Fox News, "Google is 'threat to the Republic,' says Trump campaign manager," 13 Sep. 2018 Joe, tired of listening to Leo try—and fail—to manipulate Kendall, joins the conversation. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Leo Is the Worst," 28 Aug. 2018 This incident is at least the second time this year that a beauty brand has been accused of manipulating the appearance of a white model's hand to look darker. Marci Robin, Allure, "Becca Responds to Accusations That It Darkened a Model's Hand for the Skin Love Campaign," 11 Aug. 2018 The charges come after Mueller's investigation has already led to the indictment of 13 Russian nationals who were accused of manipulating social media. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Russian intelligence officers indicted in DNC hacking," 13 July 2018 President Donald Trump asked the Saudis to ramp up output by 2m barrels a day, and then accused OPEC of manipulating oil markets. The Economist, "Business this week," 5 July 2018 Humans have a long history of manipulating crops; cultivating strains to withstand certain conditions. Emily Hopkins, Cincinnati.com, "Your produce is less healthy than it was 70 years ago. These farmers might change that," 4 July 2018 Deutsche Bank is the latest Wall Street firm to face penalties for manipulating the $5.3 trillion currency market. BostonGlobe.com, "SHYFT Analytics to be acquird by New York company," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'manipulate.' 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 manipulate

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for manipulate

back-formation from manipulation, from French, from manipuler to handle an apparatus in chemistry, ultimately from Latin manipulus

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Statistics for manipulate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for manipulate

The first known use of manipulate was in 1834

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More Definitions for manipulate

manipulate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of manipulate

: to move or control (something) with your hands or by using a machine

medical : to move (muscles and bones) with your hands as a form of treatment

: to use or change (numbers, information, etc.) in a skillful way or for a particular purpose

manipulate

verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt \
manipulated; manipulating

Kids Definition of manipulate

1 : to operate, use, or move with the hands or by mechanical means She learned to manipulate the levers of the machine.
2 : to manage skillfully and especially with intent to deceive The candidates tried to manipulate public opinion.

manipulate

transitive verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈnip-yə-ˌlāt \
manipulated; manipulating

Medical Definition of manipulate

1 : to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner manipulate the fragments of a broken bone into correct position
2a : to manage or utilize skillfully
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage

Other Words from manipulate

manipulative \ -​ˈnip-​yə-​ˌlāt-​iv , -​lət-​ \ adjective
manipulativeness noun

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manipulate

transitive verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt \
manipulated; manipulating

Legal Definition of manipulate

: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose specifically : to affect (the price of securities) artificially in order to deceive or mislead investors

Other Words from manipulate

manipulable \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​bəl \ adjective
manipulation \ mə-​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən \ noun
manipulative \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tiv, -​lə-​tiv \ adjective
manipulatively adverb
manipulativeness noun
manipulator \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər \ noun
manipulatory \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

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Comments on manipulate

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