Definition of distort in English:

distort

verb

[with object]
  • 1Pull or twist out of shape.

    ‘a grimace distorted her mouth’
    • ‘We see how poverty twists and distorts people and places.’
    • ‘The tail section was bent awkwardly, distorted as if heated plastic.’
    • ‘The image is stretched, and the picture is distorted out of shape.’
    • ‘A section of the flow control valve was missing, while the metal pneumatic line remained attached but was bent and distorted.’
    • ‘His face was distorted with tension, sweat dripping from his temples to the tiny cheap pin on his shirt: manager.’
    • ‘However the trade in 2001 was distorted due to the foot and mouth outbreak.’
    • ‘His face was slightly distorted due to the river rapids but I still recognized him.’
    • ‘This can distort or deform the frame or even break the glass.’
    • ‘Her face was distorted with agony, and small squeaks erupted from her mouth.’
    • ‘The irregular shape of the cornea distorts the image causing it to blur, unlike in a lazy eye where the eye is essentially normal.’
    • ‘It's appalling that Ford, for example, will provide only one wide-angle photo, which distorts the shape of the vehicle.’
    • ‘As it reached Jenny, it was once again warped and distorted.’
    • ‘Prune carefully to avoid distorting the natural shape of the tree or leaving stubs on the remaining branches.’
    • ‘It was distorted in a horrible shape, because she had wrung her hands nervously.’
    • ‘He moves into a team and changes everything about it - knitting himself into the fabric and distorting and bending it from within.’
    • ‘Not only did its reflection change, but the mirror's physical shape became distorted as well.’
    • ‘Their faces were distorted with fear and anguish.’
    • ‘The roof was caved in, the passenger side was crushed, the windshield was blown out and the hood was twisted and distorted.’
    • ‘Anamorphic images are distorted so that they appear correctly from one viewpoint only.’
    • ‘The surface of the mirror began to twist and swirl, distorting Ferik's own image until it had been sucked away completely.’
    twisted, warped, contorted, bent, buckled, deformed, malformed, misshapen, disfigured, crooked, irregular, awry, wry, out of shape
    twist, warp, contort, bend, buckle, deform, malform, misshape, disfigure
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    1. 1.1no object Become twisted out of shape.
      ‘the pipe will distort as you bend it’
      • ‘A few seconds into the flight, the fins appear to warp and distort.’
      • ‘It twisted in sickening slow motion, distorting out of shape.’
      • ‘The shape fitted my head without distorting, as so oft-occurred with other caps.’
      • ‘The shadows warped and distorted as a humanoid shape detached itself.’
      • ‘As she snaps her fingers, the pillar distorts, and bends.’
      • ‘It was gnarled like a tree branch, twisting and distorting in places.’
      • ‘The wooden floor beneath Lord Anuru began to twist and distort, as well as the walls and the ceiling which was now nigh gone.’
      • ‘Don't grip the huss too hard as this makes them twist and distort even more.’
      • ‘In addition, all cotton fabric may shrink or otherwise distort out of its desired shape & size.’
      • ‘This prevents the panel from warping or distorting without limiting its natural movement.’
      • ‘The 4mm safety glass used to make the Quality Mat gives it a very solid feel - there is no way that this surface should bend, warp or distort.’
  • 2Give a misleading or false account or impression of.

    ‘many factors can distort the results’
    • ‘Concerning the single tax, Tucker may have deliberately distorted its meaning.’
    • ‘The nature of adulation does not distort his impression of reality.’
    • ‘The sensationalist media coverage also paints a highly distorted picture.’
    • ‘The media, he said, often distorts what young people say and do.’
    • ‘Such grossly distorted views of the budget are not inevitable.’
    • ‘In fact the corporate media have consistently distorted the truth in exactly this way for many years.’
    • ‘The developed world should be serious about removing subsidies which distort trade and which damage the environment.’
    • ‘Is it just me, or is the story here that Chris completely distorts what Clark said?’
    • ‘By taking this stand they are choosing to deliberately distort my views.’
    • ‘Most political flicks, even the good ones, suffer from a seriously distorted vision of their subject.’
    • ‘The administration grossly distorted intelligence to make that case.’
    • ‘Consequently, these subsidies are distorting the rules of the game on the world market.’
    • ‘In addition, the probability of the results being distorted by confounding factors has not been adequately addressed.’
    • ‘However, these disposals slightly distort the picture.’
    • ‘The film explains the concept of market-to-market accounting which hugely distorted the reporting of its profits.’
    • ‘Ludwig grossly distorted this history by describing Dobbs merely as a leader of the Teamsters.’
    • ‘A few newspapers did carry the story but wildly distorted the facts, greatly upsetting the brothers.’
    • ‘Many investors now distrust pension accounting because it distorts reported earnings.’
    • ‘The change in goodwill accounting also distorts year-over-year earnings comparisons in 2002 and 2003.’
    • ‘I think that those who criticise me have distorted what I said in the article.’
    misrepresented, perverted, twisted, falsified, misreported, misstated
    misrepresent, pervert, twist, falsify, misreport, misstate, prejudice, manipulate, garble, quote out of context, take out of context
    View synonyms
  • 3Change the form of (an electrical signal or sound wave) during transmission, amplification, or other processing.

    ‘you're distorting the sound by overdriving the amp’
    • ‘Hearing aids just amplify sounds that are distorted without the hearing device; they don't necessarily reduce the distortion.’
    • ‘These air pockets can distort the sound waves and produce an unclear image.’
    • ‘Heat made the air thick - it must be distorting the sound waves, slowing them down.’
    • ‘The music distorted to the point just before the point of no recognition.’
    • ‘Put on some headphones and twist the volume dial until it distorts beyond recognition.’
    • ‘Having all nine members constantly yelling into distorting microphones over RZA's too-quiet beats is trying.’
    • ‘In this model, communication may be distorted during transmission and interpretation of the communication.’
    • ‘The only fix is to silence the equipment, or to actively distort its signal emanations.’
    • ‘The angle of the sampling optics can distort the beam.’
    • ‘Worse, it could distort electronic transmissions and knock out nuclear early-warning systems.’
    • ‘He heard a voice, twisted and distorted, coursing to his ears.’
    • ‘She screams at him until the volume of her voice is distorting the phone signal and he cannot comprehend a word she says.’
    • ‘Other competitors usually use tiny speakers that tend to distort the music easily, but not Motorola.’
    • ‘The voice had been distorted with some sort of audio device.’
    • ‘The transmission would distort her voice past recognition for the moment.’
    • ‘The echoes were twisted and distorted in the enclosed tunnel.’
    • ‘Using a synthesizer, he distorted tapes of recorded speech, making the words difficult to understand.’
    • ‘Here the beam has been distorted by the particle.’
    • ‘Yet many of his scores make a feature of unconventional sounds - distorted electric guitar, harmonica, prepared piano.’
    • ‘Next I heard some music, but distorted in some way, maybe through the synthesizers.’

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense ‘twist to one side’): from Latin distort- ‘twisted apart’, from the verb distorquere, from dis- ‘apart’ + torquere ‘to twist’.

Pronunciation

distort

/dɪˈstɔːt/