manipulate

verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \
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 \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce manipulatable (audio) \ adjective
manipulation \ mə-​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce manipulation (audio) \ noun
manipulator \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce manipulator (audio) \ noun
manipulatory \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce manipulatory (audio) \ 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

The researchers showed that the spatial path of the BEC can be manipulated by sequences of microwave and laser pulses, with the controller acting rather like a skilled pinball player. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Wandering Bose-Einstein condensate may lead to scalable quantum computer," 29 Aug. 2018 The team faced several obstacles in getting to Douma, raising concerns that any chemicals that may have been used could disintegrate by the time experts get there, or that evidence could be manipulated. Jason Hanna And Jamie Gray, CNN, "Inspectors visit site of suspected chemical attack in Syria after delays," 21 Apr. 2018 Since then, a few other genes have been manipulated using Crispr to generate pig kidneys that sustain life for more than a year when transplanted into primates. Joshua Mezrich, WSJ, "Losing the Humanity of Transplants," 18 Jan. 2019 The question came from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who was trying to refute the idea that Google is politically manipulating search results. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Sundar Pichai had to explain to Congress why Googling ‘idiot’ turns up pictures of Trump," 11 Dec. 2018 Broadly, teens seem aware of the negative consequences of too much social media use: Nearly three-quarters of teens believe that tech companies are manipulating users to spend more time glued to their devices. Rani Molla, Recode, "Teens are hooked on social media. But how does it make them feel about themselves?," 11 Sep. 2018 Other opposition parties argue that state news agency Anadolu manipulated the final vote count, giving priority to areas where Erdogan received more votes. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Erdogan Wins Expansive Executive Powers in Turkish Presidential Election," 25 June 2018 On the other side of the Atlantic, Turkey, Hungary and Poland, still recognizable as democracies, are centralizing power, controlling the media, manipulating the courts and squelching protest. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Joe Jackson was an overbearing, abusive, manipulating and ruthless father. latimes.com, "Calendar Letters: Harlan Ellison's jitterbug, protest songs and healthcare, Joe Jackson's legacy," 7 July 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

24 May 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 How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce manipulative (audio) , -​lət-​ How to pronounce manipulative (audio) \ adjective
manipulativeness noun

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manipulate

transitive verb
ma·​nip·​u·​late | \ mə-ˈni-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce manipulable (audio) \ adjective
manipulation \ mə-​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce manipulation (audio) \ noun
manipulative \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tiv, -​lə-​tiv How to pronounce manipulative (audio) \ adjective
manipulatively adverb
manipulativeness noun
manipulator \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce manipulator (audio) \ noun
manipulatory \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce manipulatory (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on manipulate

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