Definition of manipulative in English:



  • 1Exercising unscrupulous control or influence over a person or situation:

    ‘she was sly, selfish, and manipulative’
    • ‘It fitted with his manipulative desire to control and dominate.’
    • ‘They were shrewd, but not smart; manipulative but not masterful.’
    • ‘But what I admire, or more accurately, am in awe of, is his manipulative ability.’
    • ‘You're not calculating, not manipulative, not any of those things.’
    • ‘There's something very calculating and manipulative about how he does things.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the excruciating, manipulative girlfriend he's been trying to dump might have cancer.’
    • ‘He has been shown to be dishonest, calculating, egocentric, manipulative and a control freak.’
    • ‘For that, she is condemned as secretive and manipulative.’
    • ‘My sister had told me of incidents of violence in the past, and of controlling and manipulative behaviour.’
    • ‘I don't want to hear about your mind games or your manipulative tricks anymore.’
    • ‘It was silly and manipulative, but I liked it anyway, in part because of how silly and manipulative it was.’
    • ‘I'm increasingly angry at my brother and his wife for their manipulative ways.’
    • ‘Police say he was manipulative, dishonest, cunning and intimidating.’
    • ‘Why is it when, after greatly resisting temptation you eventually weaken and submit to its manipulative forces?’
    • ‘They are trained to perform osteopathic manipulative treatment.’
    • ‘She was certainly clever enough, but her nature was not conniving or manipulative in any way.’
    • ‘Francois Truffaut once said that the documentary is a thousand times more manipulative and deceptive than the work of fiction.’
    • ‘But what begins as manipulative flirtation soon turns into a dangerous and erotic game of passion, power and betrayal.’
    • ‘When the crown passed to Edward, just ten years old and physically frail, the way opened for manipulative adults to seize control.’
    • ‘Evie is a manipulative, dangerous and damaged character, but Tracy is blind to this and easily gets swallowed up in Evie's world.’
    scheming, calculating, cunning, crafty, wily, shrewd, devious, designing, conniving, machiavellian, artful, guileful, slippery, slick, sly, unscrupulous, disingenuous, media-savvy
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to manipulation of an object or part of the body:

    ‘a manipulative skill’
    • ‘He would also be unable to undertake employment which involved prolonged fine manipulative skills.’
    manual, done with one's hands, dexterous
    View synonyms