Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To twist out of a proper or natural relation of parts; misshape.
  • transitive verb To cause to deviate from what is normal, reasonable, or accurate.
  • transitive verb Electronics To cause distortion in (a signal or waveform, for example).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Twisted out of shape; distorted.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To bring something out of shape.
  • verb intransitive, ergative To become misshapen.
  • verb transitive To give a false or misleading account of

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin distorquēre, distort- : dis-, apart; see dis– + torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin distortum, past participle of distorquēre ("to twist, torture, distort")

Examples

  • Every word has a specific meaning that will be twisted to distort from the true menaing and intent or to veil it in a shroud of uncertainty.

    Obama adviser: Protesters wrong about health-care reform

  • Doesn't he realize he's calling 36 million Americans "socialists" and promoters of "communism" when he and Palin distort Obama's tax policies the way they do?

    Teachable Moments - Swampland - TIME.com

  • Those pejorative theological terms distort and distract.

    CNN Transcript Oct 20, 2006

  • He said McConnell also gets outside help to "distort" Lunsford record.

    Labor unions go after Republicans in tight races

  • Note that I realise the medium does call for a lot of adjustment to the truth e.g. taking liberties with the time involved, or shifting the place of an incident somewhere else for aesthetic reasons or time constraints and I have no problem with that, so my operative word would be "distort".

    Tropic Temper

  • Note that I realise the medium does call for a lot of adjustment to the truth e.g. taking liberties with the time involved, or shifting the place of an incident somewhere else for aesthetic reasons or time constraints and I have no problem with that, so my operative word would be "distort".

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Therefore, the government reasons, corporate expenditures "distort" the political process and must be banned.

    Is Sean Hannity's Political Talk Hampering Our Children's Critical Thinking?

  • Therefore, the government reasons, corporate expenditures "distort" the political process and must be banned.

    The Chance for a Free Speech Do-Over

  • It means that they are qualified to lecture Judge Sotomayor on not letting her background and experience as a Latina "distort" her judgment or decisions in the cases she would review, even as they are guilty of the same thing — or would be if only they had an ethnic identity or background distinct from the dominant culture.

    Terrance Heath: Sotomayor and the Vulcan Standard

  • The grain traders even responded to the food crisis by writing a letter to President Bush discouraging the replacement of reserves because it would "distort" grain prices.

    Food Safety Bills: More Dangerous than the Patriot Act

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