Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means, especially in a skillful manner: She manipulated the lights to get just the effect she wanted.
  • transitive v. To influence or manage shrewdly or deviously: He manipulated public opinion in his favor.
  • transitive v. To tamper with or falsify for personal gain: tried to manipulate stock prices.
  • transitive v. Medicine To handle and move in an examination or for therapeutic purposes: manipulate a joint; manipulate the position of a fetus during delivery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move, arrange or operate something using the hands
  • v. To influence, manage, direct, control or tamper with something
  • v. To handle and move a body part, either as an examination or for a therapeutic purpose

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To use the hands in dexterous operations; to do hand work
  • transitive v. To treat, work, or operate with the hands, especially when knowledge and dexterity are required; to manage in hand work; to handle.
  • transitive v. To control the action of, by management; also, to manage artfully or fraudulently.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To handle, or act on with the hands, as in artistic or mechanical operations; hence, in general, to subject to certain mechanical operations or to some method of handling, arranging, combining, etc.: as, the chemist exercises great care in manipulating his materials and apparatus.
  • Figuratively, to operate upon by contrivance or influence; affect in a particular way by a definite course of treatment; manage; specifically, to manage insidiously; adapt or apply to one's own purpose or advantage; treat or use falsely or deceptively: as, to manipulate accounts or the facts of history (with the purpose of falsifying them).
  • To use the hands, as in mechanical or artistic operations, scientific experiments, mesmerism, etc.: as, to manipulate neatly or successfully.

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

  • v. hold something in one's hands and move it
  • v. influence or control shrewdly or deviously
  • v. control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage
  • v. treat manually, as with massage, for therapeutic purposed
  • v. tamper, with the purpose of deception
  • v. manipulate in a fraudulent manner

Etymologies

Back-formation from manipulation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Back formation of manipulation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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