What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[dih-stawr-shuh n] /dɪˈstɔr ʃən/
an act or instance of distorting.
the state of being distorted or the relative degree or amount by which something is distorted or distorts.
anything that is distorted, as a sound, image, fact, etc.
Optics. an aberration of a lens or system of lenses in which the magnification of the object varies with the lateral distance from the axis of the lens.
Origin of distortion
1575-85; < Latin distortiōn- (stem of distortiō). See distort, -ion
Related forms
distortional, distortionary, adjective
nondistortion, noun
overdistortion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for distortion
  • If remediation of lack of preparation for post-secondary work was not factored out, then the cost distortion will be significant.
  • One of the key features of a tax system is the distortion it causes.
  • Such a breach results in distortion of hearing and, often, impaired balance.
  • The distortion might still be visible, but it won't be distinct.
  • What is surprising is that such a distortion of global statistics might be possible.
  • The entire planet comes into stunning focus using a new technique that removes atmospheric distortion.
  • During collapse, the time distortion stops the collapse.
  • Worse, our memories are vulnerable to contamination and distortion.
  • It's a government distortion that would hinder global growth.
  • In other words, there are two levels of distortion at work.
British Dictionary definitions for distortion


the act or an instance of distorting or the state of being distorted
something that is distorted
an aberration of a lens or optical system in which the magnification varies with the lateral distance from the axis
  1. an undesired change in the shape of an electromagnetic wave or signal
  2. the result of such a change in waveform, esp a loss of clarity in radio reception or sound reproduction
(psychol) a change in perception so that it does not correspond to reality
(psychoanal) the disguising of the meaning of unconscious thoughts so that they may appear in consciousness, e.g. in dreams
Derived Forms
distortional, adjective
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for distortion

1580s, "action of distorting," from Latin distortionem (nominative distortio), noun of action from past participle stem of distorquere (see distort). Figurative use (of words, etc.) from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
distortion in Medicine

distortion dis·tor·tion (dĭ-stôr'shən)

  1. A twisting out of normal shape or form.

  2. A psychological defense mechanism that helps to repress or disguise unacceptable thoughts.

  3. Parataxic distortion.

dis·tor'tion·al or dis·tor'tion·ar'y adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for distortion

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for distortion

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with distortion