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

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

Some guys are strong enough to manipulate their mechanics and get an ideal launch angle. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "Strong legs, strong game for A’s Jed Lowrie," 30 Apr. 2018 In addition, fourth-graders in math typically are manipulating larger numbers and continuing to work on rounding, fractions and decimals, Kincaid said. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Naperville 9-year-old earns near-perfect score on ACT college readiness test: 'He basically did it for fun'," 29 Mar. 2018 That’s what happened in the early 2000s, when class-action lawsuits revealed the main pricing database was being manipulated to the advantage of insurance companies. Steve Cohen, WSJ, "You Can’t Put a Price on a Hip Replacement, and That’s a Problem," 13 July 2018 What happens when faces and voices can be manipulated as easily as text, images and video? The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 And critically, the beam can be manipulated into a cone shape, creating an effective field that can knock out multiple UAVs with an energy cost of less than $1 per kill. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Stopping Killer Drone Swarms Before They Kill Us," 5 July 2018 Ugo’s sophisticated woodcuts were each made with four blocks and printed in various color combinations — light blue, gray, several greens, tan and brown — manipulated to evoke the transparent colored washes in Parmigianino’s drawing. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Out of the shadows and into the light: 'Chiaroscuro Woodcut' is a sleeper hit at LACMA," 5 July 2018 The account’s snarky tone — photos of some the accused were manipulated so that the men appeared to have pigs’ noses — had a polarizing effect. Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times, "Instagram Account That Sought Harassment Tales May Be Unmasked," 1 July 2018 This story is being manipulated to push a bigoted agenda. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Danny Masterson's rape accusers rip Netflix for new episodes of ‘The Ranch’ featuring the Scientologist," 15 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

8 Nov 2018

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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