1 of 2


: a series of yarns extended lengthwise in a loom and crossed by the weft
: foundation, base
the warp of the economic structure is agricultureAmer. Guide Series: N.C.
: a rope for warping or mooring a ship or boat
[warp entry 2]
: a twist or curve that has developed in something originally flat or straight
a warp in a door panel
: a mental aberration
warpage noun


2 of 2


warped; warping; warps

transitive verb

: to arrange (yarns) so as to form a warp
: to turn or twist out of or as if out of shape
especially : to twist or bend out of a plane
: to cause to judge, choose, or act wrongly or abnormally : pervert
: distort
intellect and learning … warped by prejudicesIrving Wallace
warps space and time
: to deflect from a course
: to move (something, such as a ship) by hauling on a line attached to a fixed object

intransitive verb

: to become warped
: to move a ship by warping
warper noun
Choose the Right Synonym for warp

deform, distort, contort, warp means to mar or spoil by or as if by twisting.

deform may imply a change of shape through stress, injury, or accident of growth.

a face deformed by hatred

distort and contort both imply a wrenching from the natural or normal, but contort suggests a more involved twisting and a more grotesque and painful result.

the odd camera angle distorts the figure
disease had contorted her body

warp indicates an uneven shrinking that bends or twists out of a flat plane.

warped floorboards

Example Sentences

Noun There's a warp in the floorboards. an unshakable belief in the essential goodness of humankind is the warp of his philosophy Verb The wood was warped by moisture. The heat caused the wood to warp. He held prejudices that warped his judgment.
Recent Examples on the Web
For sale online at Makers Union PDX are Christopher Dibble’s handwoven and knotted Rya wall hangings, made with hand-dyed, 100% churro wool weft and cotton warp. oregonlive, 4 Oct. 2021 Dotted along the restaurant's walls and ceilings are green warp tubes and yellow mystery boxes, mainstays of the Mario games. Sam Burros, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2023 In addition, the spin direction of the yarn—clockwise (Z-spun) versus counterclockwise (S-spun)—shifted almost completely from Z-spun warp and weft to S-spun in the weft in the 11th century. Francine Russo, Scientific American, 18 Sep. 2022 A lot of what happened in 2020 can be attributed to some sort of COVID warp. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 12 Sep. 2021 In 2018, scientists discovered a warp in the disk of the Milky Way. Nola Taylor Tillman, Discover Magazine, 8 Feb. 2022 Here in the real world, we’d be thrilled with any warp. David Warmflash, Discover Magazine, 17 Sep. 2014 That wrong warp can save a lot of tedious traversal and avoid many threats at the same time. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 11 Apr. 2022 Entanglement, then, may undergird the structure of space itself, forming the warp and weft that give rise to the geometry of the world. Adam Becker, Scientific American, 20 Jan. 2022
Dishwashers emit extreme heat when drying that can warp the wood. Brittany Leitner, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Feb. 2023 Because materials change shape as they are cooled, each mirror segment was ground to a shape that was optically wrong at room temperature, but which would warp into the correct shape at the low operating temperature of the JWST. Chris Holt, Discover Magazine, 23 Mar. 2022 Mass global migration will warp our life and politics. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 Politics, taken to an extreme, can do the same: warp the mind, twist the soul — all that. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 20 Dec. 2022 On the other hand, if the universe's density is low and unable to stop the expansion, space will warp in the opposite direction. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2021 Otherwise, the wood can warp or develop moisture rings. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Dec. 2022 Even as the app has transformed into a public square for news and conversation, TikTok’s opaque systems of promotion and suppression fuel worries that China’s aggressive model of internet control could warp what appears there. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2022 In a perfect world, people would not let their ideology warp their thinking. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 17 Dec. 2012 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English wearp; akin to Old High German warf warp, Old English weorpan to throw, Old Norse verpa

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of warp was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near warp

Cite this Entry

“Warp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warp. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a series of yarns going lengthwise in a loom and crossed by the woof
: a twist or curve in something once flat or straight
a warp in a door


2 of 2 verb
: to turn or twist out of shape
: to cause to judge, choose, or act wrongly : pervert
: to arrange so as to form a warp
warp yarns
warper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on warp

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