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

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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 Officials angrily deny manipulating statistics, saying Russia’s low death toll reflects early preventive measures and broad screening. Author: Michelle R. Smith, Colleen Long, Jeff Amy, Anchorage Daily News, "States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data," 20 May 2020 Officials angrily deny manipulating statistics, saying Russia’s low death toll reflects early preventive measures and broad screening. Fox News, "Coronavirus cases spike in populous countries, signaling more trouble ahead," 19 May 2020 And many of the new platforms were designed to manipulate users, to keep them engaged for as long as possible. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The 2016 Election Was Just a Dry Run," 11 May 2020 But Gray is elite at producing spin and manipulating pitches, even in the middle of games, to make key adjustments. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Which Cincinnati Reds pitcher throws the most unhittable offspeed pitch?," 6 May 2020 But there’s a flip side: data and information can be manipulated to mislead or flat out deceive. Paul Todd, STAT, "Expertise can help save us from Covid-19 — if we use it right," 6 May 2020 During this current shelter-in-place order, isolation, a powerful tool abusers wield against women to begin with, can be manipulated to exert even more control over a victim who’s a passive hostage in her own home. Lanier Isom, al, "Domestic violence during a pandemic and shelter in place," 31 Mar. 2020 They can be shared, manipulated, reproduced or otherwise used for any purpose, without credit. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Coronavirus pandemic gives powerful new meaning to Keithley gift of $100 million worth of art to Cleveland Museum of Art," 22 Mar. 2020 Antetokounmpo also manipulated Oklahoma City's defense with his passing on the way to his six assists. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After thinly-veiled shot from James Harden, Giannis' skills on full display against Thunder," 28 Feb. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Manipulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manipulate. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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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 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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