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[dih-stawr-tid] /dɪˈstɔr tɪd/
not truly or completely representing the facts or reality; misrepresented; false:
She has a distorted view of life.
twisted; deformed; misshapen.
mentally or morally twisted, as with an aberration or bias:
He has a distorted sense of values.
Origin of distorted
1625-35; distort + -ed2
Related forms
distortedly, adverb
distortedness, noun
nondistorted, adjective
nondistortedly, adverb
nondistortedness, noun
undistorted, adjective
undistortedly, adverb


[dih-stawrt] /dɪˈstɔrt/
verb (used with object)
to twist awry or out of shape; make crooked or deformed:
Arthritis had distorted his fingers.
to give a false, perverted, or disproportionate meaning to; misrepresent:
to distort the facts.
Electronics. to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately by changing the frequencies or unequally changing the delay or amplitude of the components of the output wave.
1580-90; < Latin distortus (past participle of distorquēre to distort), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + tor(qu)- (stem of torquēre to twist) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
distorter, noun
distortive, adjective
nondistorting, adjective
nondistortingly, adverb
nondistortive, adjective
overdistort, verb (used with object)
undistorting, adjective
2. pervert, misconstrue, twist, falsify, misstate. See misrepresent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for distorted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her eyes are bent on a distorted thing that lies among the embers, and in the dying light of the flames it seems to move.

  • But things seen through a screen are distorted, and look abnormal to them.

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • The pain which distorted Dark's face when he lay writhing from the heatgun blast was gone from his features.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • It was a grisly, hideous night, and all shapes were vague and distorted.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • She was still gazing at him, absorbed, startled, when she saw a change steal upon the man's distorted face.

    Rich Man, Poor Man Maximilian Foster
British Dictionary definitions for distorted


verb (transitive)
(often passive) to twist or pull out of shape; make bent or misshapen; contort; deform
to alter or misrepresent (facts, motives, etc)
(electronics) to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately, changing the shape of the waveform
Derived Forms
distorted, adjective
distortedly, adverb
distortedness, noun
distorter, noun
distortive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin distortus misshapen, from distorquēre to turn different ways, from dis-1 + torquēre to twist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for distorted



1580s, from Latin distortus, past participle of distorquere "to twist different ways, distort," from dis- "completely" + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Related: Distorted; distorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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