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

Algorithms experiment many times inside a simulated world to learn a task such as how to manipulate objects through trial and error. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How Amazon Cloned a Neighborhood to Test Its Delivery Robots," 14 June 2019 Efforts to manipulate media are as old as media itself. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: It's time for Congress to address deepfakes, experts say," 13 June 2019 Measures also could be taken to hamper Russia’s efforts to manipulate the American public online. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Other voices: How to prevent another Russian attack," 13 June 2019 In light of documentaries' booming popularity, what conversation is the doc community having about the role of music and its ability to manipulate an audience? Shannon L. Bowen, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: How a Composer Convinced TV Academy to Finally Recognize Documentary Scores," 7 June 2019 In some ways, Dana’s attempt to manipulate the new set of Liars only forges a stronger friendship between them. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, ""Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists" Season One Successfully Smashed the Dollhouse of the Original Series and Empowered Its Leading Women," 22 May 2019 For many years exercise was, to me, purely a tool to manipulate my body. SELF, "It Took Me Years to Separate Working Out from Trying to Lose Weight. Here's How I Did It," 25 Mar. 2019 Enter Jake Gyllenhaal’s Morf Vandewalt (even his name is pretentious), the pompous, obnoxious art critic who has the power to manipulate the art world conversation for his own gain, making and breaking the careers of artists and dealers with glee. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Netflix's Velvet Buzzsaw Shouldn't Work—But It (Mostly) Does," 3 Feb. 2019 Using fear to manipulate voters is as old as the anthem itself. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump using NFL anthem issue to lather up resentment and hate," 6 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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Learn More about manipulate

Statistics for manipulate

Last Updated

21 Jun 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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