Definition of manipulative in English:



  • 1Characterized by unscrupulous control of a situation or person.

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