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[muh-nip-yuh-leyt] /məˈnɪp yəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), manipulated, manipulating.
to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner:
to manipulate people's feelings.
to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance:
to manipulate a large tractor.
to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one's purpose or advantage.
Medicine/Medical. to examine or treat by skillful use of the hands, as in palpation, reduction of dislocations, or changing the position of a fetus.
Origin of manipulate
1820-30; back formation from manipulation
Related forms
manipulatable, adjective
[muh-nip-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /məˈnɪp yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
nonmanipulative, adjective
nonmanipulatory, adjective
outmanipulate, verb (used with object), outmanipulated, outmanipulating.
unmanipulatable, adjective
unmanipulated, adjective
unmanipulative, adjective
unmanipulatory, adjective
3. juggle, falsify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for manipulate
  • But this has started to change as it has become cheaper to store and manipulate information.
  • Most digital cameras come with basic software that helps organize and manipulate photos.
  • Algebra Touch is a fairly new app that allows kids to physically manipulate equations.
  • The software also includes a video creator that lets kids manipulate the video footage to create something new.
  • Rather than manipulate readers' emotions, the author uses the tragedy to underscore the value of tradition and community.
  • He appeared to be able to manipulate atoms with amazing grace.
  • You can manipulate the gears manually, via fingertip paddles on the steering wheel or the gear lever.
  • Brands are not as powerful as their opponents allege, nor is the public as easily manipulated.
  • It has a regular qwerty-style keyboard that is easy to type on, plus a simple to manipulate onboard track-pad.
  • Governments usually manipulate exchange rates to make their currencies artificially weak, not strong.
British Dictionary definitions for manipulate


(transitive) to handle or use, esp with some skill, in a process or action: to manipulate a pair of scissors
to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously
to falsify (a bill, accounts, etc) for one's own advantage
(in physiotherapy) to examine or treat manually, as in loosening a joint
Derived Forms
manipulability (məˌnɪpjʊləˈbɪlɪtɪ) noun
manipulatable, manipulable, adjective
manipulation, noun
manipulative, adjective
manipulatively, adverb
manipulator, noun
manipulatory, adjective
Word Origin
C19: back formation from manipulation, from Latin manipulus handful
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 manipulate

1827, "to handle skillfully by hand," a back-formation from manipulation. Of mental influence, from 1864. Financial sense is from 1870. In mid-20c., it served as a euphemism for "masturbation." Related: Manipulated; manipulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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manipulate in Medicine

manipulate ma·nip·u·late (mə-nĭp'yə-lāt')
v. ma·nip·u·lat·ed, ma·nip·u·lat·ing, ma·nip·u·lates
To handle and move in an examination or for therapeutic purposes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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