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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For this conjuring business was no easy one to manipulate, particularly with the intelligent people to be met with in America.

    Indian and Scout F. S. Brereton
  • Will they manipulate these and the like to suit their needs?

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • Experts can so manipulate the tint plates that the lights will be graduated from the softest to the most glaring.

    The Invention of Lithography Alois Senefelder
  • To raise it and manipulate the catch was out of the question.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • This is a great deal like the last, but a little harder to manipulate.

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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