from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To twist out of a proper or natural relation of parts; misshape.
  • transitive v. To give a false or misleading account of; misrepresent.
  • transitive v. To cause to work in a twisted or disorderly manner; pervert.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To bring something out of shape.
  • v. To become misshapen.
  • v. To give a false or misleading account of

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Distorted; misshapen.
  • transitive v. To twist of natural or regular shape; to twist aside physically.
  • transitive v. To force or put out of the true posture or direction; to twist aside mentally or morally.
  • transitive v. To wrest from the true meaning; to pervert.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To twist or wrest out of shape; alter the shape of; change from the proper to an improper or unnatural shape; represent by an image having a shape somewhat different from nature.
  • Hence—2. To turn away or pervert; cause to give or to receive erroneous views or impressions; mislead; bias.
  • To wrest from the true meaning; pervert the truth regarding; misrepresent.
  • Synonyms and To contort, deform, bend.
  • To misapply, misuse.
  • Twisted out of shape; distorted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. affect as in thought or feeling
  • v. form into a spiral shape
  • v. alter the shape of (something) by stress
  • v. twist and press out of shape
  • v. make false by mutilation or addition; as of a message or story


Latin distorquēre, distort- : dis-, apart; see dis- + torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin distortum, past participle of distorquēre ("to twist, torture, distort") (Wiktionary)


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