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distort

[dih-stawrt] /dɪˈstɔrt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to twist awry or out of shape; make crooked or deformed:
Arthritis had distorted his fingers.
2.
to give a false, perverted, or disproportionate meaning to; misrepresent:
to distort the facts.
3.
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.
Origin of distort
1580-1590
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
Synonyms
2. pervert, misconstrue, twist, falsify, misstate. See misrepresent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for distort
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is not to distort words from their established and usual meaning but only to apply them as they must be applied.

  • He will not steal it, nor distort it with his supernatural chisels, nor make fun of it.

    Death of a Spaceman Walter M. Miller
  • All physical materials can be loaded or stressed to a certain point beyond which they distort, snap, fracture, or break.

  • "Yes, they have done their best to distort it," sighed Mendelssohn.

  • He did not hesitate to simplify or to distort if he could get nearer to that unknown thing he sought.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for distort

distort

/dɪˈstɔːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
(often passive) to twist or pull out of shape; make bent or misshapen; contort; deform
2.
to alter or misrepresent (facts, motives, etc)
3.
(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
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Word Origin and History for distort
v.

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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