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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.
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 manipulating
  • There are workshops in manipulating marionettes, and puppet shows.
  • Still, manipulating hatred and aggressive tendencies is not without its risks.
  • We can alter the crime rate in ways other than by manipulating the incentives confronting a would-be offender.
  • Western scientists spoke of vaccine and drug development, of biotechnology, of manipulating and transplanting genes.
  • The agent also described military police manipulating the temperatures in detainees' cells.
  • He warned that by manipulating the wound after mastectomy, the surgeon might inadvertently spread tumor cells.
  • It suddenly became easier to spend indirectly, by manipulating the tax code.
  • When a remote authority sets incentives, people respond by manipulating the system.
  • They are all about manipulating the fees and penalties to soak you.
  • Manipulatives are educational activities where the learner makes conceptual links by manually manipulating objects.
British Dictionary definitions for manipulating


(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 manipulating



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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manipulating 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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