Definition of manipulation in English:



  • 1The action of manipulating something in a skilful manner.

    ‘the format allows fast picture manipulation’
    [count noun] ‘conscious manipulations of oral language’
    • ‘Adobe Photoshop is for images and image manipulation.’
    • ‘You can counteract this by manipulation in the computer with your electronic paint brush.’
    • ‘The one for the handcuffs is oversized to allow fast manipulation.’
    • ‘A rear end of the lever is externally accessible to allow manipulation by the user.’
    • ‘The other themes are genetic manipulation, ‘post-apocalypse’, and totalitarianism.’
    • ‘Having a single file containing details all the CDs makes content manipulation much easier and faster.’
    • ‘It allows for manipulation of written text and images with minimal cyber skills.’
    • ‘It is the skilful manipulation of this single stitch that lends an interesting and characteristic dimension to the needlework.’
    • ‘Discriminating the various objects within the world requires a system of labelling that can allow independent manipulation of those objects.’
    • ‘As for stem cell manipulation, the good doctor suggested we check back with him in a quarter-century or so.’
    • ‘Does beauty lie in the artist's skilful manipulation of materials, or ideas?’
    • ‘The conscious use and manipulation of frame and structure allows the storyteller to engage the audience more deeply in the story.’
    • ‘She gave me deep massage, then gentle manipulation.’
    • ‘Video teleconferencing also allows collaboration and manipulation of documents and data.’
    • ‘One of the critical innovations is the invention of tweezers for molecular manipulation - the very tool that Primo Levi desired.’
    • ‘His mastery of vocal manipulation allowed him to pitch his voice like a frail old man from Texas.’
    • ‘Although more a work of low relief, it shares with Apollo and Marpessa the creation of depth on a shallow surface by skilful manipulation of planes.’
    • ‘Correct orientation principles ensure efficient control of solar gain and manipulation within the building fabric.’
    • ‘I am referring to genetic manipulation in agrobiology.’
    • ‘How close are we to the possibility of using genetic manipulation to create faster and stronger athletes?’
  • 2The action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.

    ‘there was no deliberate manipulation of visitors' emotions’
    [count noun] ‘he saw through her manipulations’
    • ‘This is a nation whose operating culture is secrecy, repression, and manipulation.’
    • ‘Through clever manipulations, Lupin gets into the wine vault but it is a trap set by Zenigata!’
    • ‘But their idea of world domination, through clever manipulations, to compensate for their small numbers, is not always seen as legitimate.’
    • ‘The tale of intrigue, manipulation and tragedy unfolds in 18th-century Korea.’
    • ‘Planning, manipulation and management were essential parts of the programme.’
    • ‘It made perfect sense that she was working with Mercalli, and that she'd won Stratford over by clever manipulation to get her post with the company.’
    • ‘This thriller of thrillers is a study of human conflict, jealousy and manipulation, which promises to baffle the most proficient sleuth.’
    • ‘Is this a display of misguided innocence, or the manipulation of youth by unscrupulous entrepreneurs?’
    • ‘So far, none of the other commissions have found any evidence of deliberate manipulation, of pressure.’
    • ‘This could suggest that our manipulation was not successful in inducing a deliberative mindset.’
    • ‘Of course, contrary to the fantasies of the press, the strike was not the result of manipulation by ‘scheming lefties’.’
    • ‘There are many strands to the plot, each involving manipulation of others for personal advancement.’
    • ‘This sort of manipulation takes a lot of cleverness.’
    • ‘I've been battling with this kind of manipulation for 33 years.’
    • ‘The tragedy of the past is not recreated through a deliberate manipulation of the reader's heartstrings.’
    • ‘Some deliberate manipulation must have taken place.’
    • ‘Instead, they attempt to use tricks and minority manipulation to force public acceptance.’
    • ‘This flexibility provides opportunities for manipulation, deception and misrepresentation.’
    • ‘Juries are human, and can be easily swayed by the emotions of the case, and the clever manipulation of a strong barrister.’
    • ‘Behind such an outlook lies a deeply pessimistic view - that any change in society, if it is possible at all, will be the result of the clever schemes and manipulations of gifted individuals.’


Early 18th century: from French, from Latin manipulus handful.