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 manipulate (audio) \ adjective
manipulation \ mə-​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ noun
manipulator \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ noun
manipulatory \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for manipulate

Synonyms

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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 Should the vaccine simply be distributed by age, since age is by far the largest factor in fatality rates (and also the factor hardest for people to manipulate in order to cut the line)? Noah Millman, TheWeek, "America's corrosive obsession with scarcity," 24 Dec. 2020 In the coming years, attackers could take control of the hospital’s online systems to manipulate machines (such as increasing the dosage on intravenous drips) and data (swapping blood types in patient records), Mr. Clarke says. Leigh Kamping-carder, WSJ, "Hackers Eye Their Next Targets, From Schools to Cars," 8 Oct. 2020 Paul Schmidt, who served as a board member and board chair of the Board of Immigration Appeals under the Trump administration, said that Trump is not the first to manipulate the courts. Marcia Brown, The New Republic, "The Best Way to Protect Immigrants From the Whims of Politics," 5 Oct. 2020 Now, rather than bringing forth radically better ideas, these five super-large corporations increasingly spend their days appropriating other peoples businesses and devising new ways to manipulate individuals and society as a whole. Barry Lynn, Wired, "America Can Still Achieve Its Techno-Utopian Dream," 29 Sep. 2020 So would crafting new kinds of bait, which would manipulate aegypti to avoid populated areas and head elsewhere. Joshua Sokol, The Atlantic, "The Worst Animal in the World," 20 Aug. 2020 Visual artists can manipulate attributes of a work of art such as luminosity in order to direct visual gaze to specific features of a painting. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "When Our Gaze Is a Physical Force," 29 Dec. 2020 The basic structure of the games is the same: Players manipulate their avatars through virtual worlds to solve mysteries, build hotels, or slay aliens. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Roblox is getting kids’ attention. Next stop, investors," 24 Dec. 2020 All as unelected, unaccountable transnational entities manipulate a false crisis to consolidate power and control. William Levin, National Review, "We Have Time to Prevent Climate Change," 15 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for manipulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of manipulate was in 1834

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Statistics for manipulate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Manipulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manipulate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for manipulate

manipulate

verb
How to pronounce manipulate (audio)

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 manipulate (audio) , -​lət-​ How to pronounce manipulate (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 manipulate (audio) \ adjective
manipulation \ mə-​ˌni-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ noun
manipulative \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tiv, -​lə-​tiv How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ adjective
manipulatively adverb
manipulativeness noun
manipulator \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ noun
manipulatory \ mə-​ˈni-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce manipulate (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on manipulate

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