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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for distorts
  • Atmospheric turbulence usually distorts light coming from distant stars.
  • The difficulty of the task distorts our perception of distance.
  • When someone divides a complex phenomenon into two basic categories, he invariably oversimplifies and distorts reality.
  • He distorts them both and puts a line through them--standard techniques for creating captchas.
  • Misinformation can do real harm, because it distorts predictions.
  • Such people need to rethink their cynicism because it distorts their thinking.
  • It thus distorts economic decisions less than an income tax, which is charged at varying rates with numerous exemptions.
  • Increasing dependence on research funds distorts internal priorities, he says.
  • They say it distorts the local economy and undermines longstanding if less lavish efforts to create a workable local government.
  • Another is that the preoccupation with economic growth narrows and distorts society's idea of what education should be.
British Dictionary definitions for distorts

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for distorts

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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