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

New efforts will include working with third-party experts to help identify images that have been manipulated or otherwise distorted. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Under Trump, Americans are becoming more supportive of immigration," 22 June 2018 Jennifer and Martin left the religion in 2016, fed up with the way they’d been manipulated and intimidated by an organization that had once been a main pillar in their lives. David Gambacorta, Philly.com, "Suspect in Jehovah's Witness child sex abuse case arrested," 24 May 2018 Comparing the actual footage of the news conference with the Watson/Sanders videos clearly shows that the latter has been manipulated. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "White House press secretary uses fake Infowars video to justify banning CNN reporter," 8 Nov. 2018 Canada to South Korea, US to Italy, Scandinavia to Japan, and Italy to Thailand—that were reportedly manipulated between 2015 and 2017 as a result of BGP activities of China Telecom. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Strange snafu misroutes domestic US Internet traffic through China Telecom," 6 Nov. 2018 Let’s hope DonaldDaters survives any further outside attempts to access its users’ data, from, say, a foreign party looking to manipulate them, likely in collusion with sympathetic U.S. interests. Bridget Read, Vogue, "DonaldDaters, a Dating App for Trump Supporters, Launches—And Then Leaks Its Users’ Data," 16 Oct. 2018 That’s as opposed to a hysterectomy, which may involve removing the fallopian tubes, but doesn’t include manipulating them to decrease the odds of pregnancy. Korin Miller, SELF, "16 Birth Control Myths Ob/Gyns Have Heard That Prove We Need Better Sex Ed," 19 July 2018 Follower counts have also consistently been manipulated; the comedian Joe Mande famously bought 1 million fake followers back in 2013. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Why Your Twitter Follower Count Might Go Down This Week," 11 July 2018 The students, who range in age from 12 to 16, will display three metallic prints and a four-piece coaster collection showing their photos, none of which have been manipulated by digital software. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Back to basics: Local youths ditch smartphones, use 'real' cameras for Grayslake photo exhibit," 24 May 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

6 Dec 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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Comments on manipulate

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