Definition of warp in US English:



  • 1Become or cause to become bent or twisted out of shape, typically as a result of the effects of heat or dampness.

    with object ‘moisture had warped the box’
    no object ‘wood has a tendency to warp’
    • ‘If the cylinder does not line up with the bore vertically, you are plumb out of luck since the base pin frame holes could be drilled crooked or the frame warped from heat treatment or stress.’
    • ‘The bag was beginning to lose its resistance, and so the box was a little warped where the damp had seeped through.’
    • ‘It looks like wood but is actually a fiber cement material that can withstand the summer heat without cracking, warping, or peeling.’
    • ‘There is a grade for every use, and redwood is a good choice for railings because its dimensional stability means that components will stay in place and not warp, cup or bend.’
    • ‘At another house the high-density polyethylene pipe warped by heat was attached to the downlet pipe jutting from the terrace.’
    • ‘The metal ladder was cooperative enough against rubber-soled boots, but moisture and time had warped the blind door, and there was no other way into the box.’
    • ‘Past removalists have chipped it, put nicks in the door, and mysteriously warped one handle out of shape.’
    • ‘We are pleased to announce that we have addressed the two major problems with the Flytec Racing Pod warping with heat and stability in turbulence.’
    • ‘His special contribution was a circle of wire sewn inside the rim to reduce warping from the heat and moisture to which the hats were subjected.’
    • ‘The boiler had cooled since yesterday, the outer insulating jacket stained and warped from heat.’
    • ‘When coupled with a synthetic stock to prevent warping from moisture, it retains zero well and can withstand substantial abuse.’
    • ‘Celluloid had some of the same disadvantages of tortoise shell: it had to be shaped by hand; it could be warped in heat, and so on.’
    • ‘For one thing, after only a couple of uses, wood forms get warped, twisted, and crusted over with concrete, which means you have to replace them.’
    • ‘If wood frames are not properly protected from moisture, they can warp, crack, and stick.’
    • ‘The windshield was, of course, new too and had not yet been warped up from the heat from the defroster.’
    • ‘Woods tendency to warp and twist can cause any gate design to become misaligned.’
    • ‘It is a very stable material, which is unlikely to warp or crack even if excessive heat is applied.’
    • ‘When it touched the feet of any demon, its body began to warp, twist into odd shapes, and then after a few moments it exploded, sending bloody chunks of flesh in all directions.’
    • ‘The advantage here is that the action remains true and is not warped by heat treat after machining.’
    • ‘A peaked shingle roof, weather-bleached wooden walls, the planks warped and twisted.’
    buckle, twist, bend, distort, deform, misshape, malform, curve, become crooked, become curved, make crooked, make curved, flex, bow, arch, contort, gnarl, kink, wrinkle
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    1. 1.1with object Cause to become abnormal or strange; have a distorting effect on.
      ‘your judgment has been warped by your obvious dislike of him’
      • ‘It seems they have a strangely warped sense of what they think is funny as well.’
      • ‘In fact, she had been so alone that even her language had been warped into an unorthodox state.’
      • ‘Beyond the obviously warped people though are those who simply think they play much better than they do, and who don't appreciate how truly much they need to learn.’
      • ‘God must have a pretty warped sense of humour, because with our differences, its a miracle that men and women ever manage to hook up at all.’
      • ‘An angular skeletal frame and warped planes give a strong sense of the building being poised to take flight over the vastness of the wilderness that it surveys.’
      • ‘Beyond the devices agents use to secure and conduct auctions, the problem is that many buyers allow emotion to warp their judgment.’
      • ‘Though opposite in rhythmic conceits, both seem to warp one's sense of movement through space.’
      • ‘Both out of curiosity and whatever warped sense of ‘duty’ she seemed to be deluding herself with.’
      • ‘As for Thomas not telling: stupidity, pride, warped sense of loyalty, take your pick.’
      • ‘Indeed, it seems that their priorities were strangely warped.’
      • ‘It is not just demand for consumer durables that has been warped by Iraq's strange new economy.’
      • ‘My sense of humour tended to warp a little bit when I was faced with actual life-threatening danger.’
      • ‘Might this have warped his journalistic judgment a wee bit?’
      • ‘It is only Britain's curious parsimony and warped misunderstanding of free trade ideas that has failed to establish laws and a tax regime that make export of art treasures unthinkable.’
      • ‘Something amusing I thought of this morning though - I dare say other people have the same warped sense of humour I do and thought of it as well.’
      • ‘Forget the outlandish demands and warped sense of value.’
      • ‘I don't know if it's any good, but at least it has a deliciously warped sense of humor.’
      • ‘When the dictatorship stepped back from the direct exercise of power, a half-democracy was left in its place, a system designed by the dictatorship and warped by the regime's distortions.’
      • ‘In both cases, Emma knows better, but prejudice warps her judgment.’
      • ‘Well, you know, John has a very warped sense of humor, and we're old buddies.’
      corrupt, twist, pervert, deprave, bend, skew
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  • 2with object Move (a ship) along by hauling on a rope attached to a stationary object on shore.

    1. 2.1no object (of a ship) move by being hauled on a rope attached to a stationary object.
  • 3with object (in weaving) arrange (yarn) so as to form the warp of a piece of cloth.

  • 4with object Cover (land) with a deposit of alluvial soil by natural or artificial flooding.


  • 1A twist or distortion in the shape or form of something.

    ‘the head of the racket had a curious warp’
    • ‘Everybody sees through their warp, through their bias, through their pretensions, through their needs all of that.’
    distortion, malformation, contortion, buckling, twisting, warping, bending, wrenching, misshaping
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as modifier Relating to or denoting (fictional or hypothetical) space travel by means of distorting space-time.
      ‘warp speed’
      ‘the craft possessed warp drive’
      • ‘Its benefits included intergalactic space travel at warp speed.’
      • ‘I'm supposed to be chastened by this, but to be honest my first reaction is start working on that warp drive, Zephraim; we're going to need lots of class M planets.’
      • ‘But time is fickle and not particularly friendly to me and the fecker will go all warp speed.’
      • ‘Unlike zooming through the countryside in a car at warp speed, hoping that a wonderful vista will pop up beside you, trekking a city's streets immerses you in its most intimate details.’
      • ‘I want to disengage the warp drive, make a course alteration to two-six-five mark fourteen, then reactivate the warp drive at current speed.’
      • ‘She's doing warp speed and I'm glad everybody picked up on her even though she's weird and British and crazy.’
      • ‘He has rebuilt programs at warp speed at every previous stop.’
      • ‘My nan had one of those salad spinners, which sent leaves hurtling through space at warp speed and produced enough water to irrigate a smallholding.’
      • ‘Those are in normal space not warp space engines.’
      • ‘I am not sure of how it works or what it's made of because I work as an engineer in NASA and I specialize in warp drives, not beams.’
      • ‘That would have been great if it wasn't for the another squadron of Zylons popping out of warp space behind me.’
      • ‘At 190 mph the car feels imperiously stable, like the USS Enterprise at warp speed.’
      • ‘A deafening cheer arose from the cockpit as the Snow Eagle dropped out of warp space right next to them.’
      • ‘Whether science fiction novels refer to it as warp speed, hyperspeed, or lightspeed, the prospect of traveling at the speed of light or faster has enthralled humanity for decades.’
      • ‘The game contains smooth graphics whilst playing although you notice very little at warp speed, and the cut scenes do a good job without creating too much fuss.’
      • ‘The Devil Star screamed through the portal and they entered warp space.’
      • ‘Captain, we shall be exiting warp space in ten seconds.’
      • ‘Once I reached warp speed, I never saw two of the dogs again but one of the white and black mutts was persistent and kept up an impressive pace.’
      • ‘This just goes with the other pointless stuff, space ships without laser guns or warp drives, broken inter-galactic telescopes, and an international space station that only the privileged can visit.’
      • ‘The old machine was soon cruising at warp speed and we sat back and reminisced about the old times.’
    2. 1.2 An abnormality or perversion in a person's character.
  • 2in singular (in weaving) the threads on a loom over and under which other threads (the weft) are passed to make cloth.

    ‘the warp and weft are the basic constituents of all textiles’
    figurative ‘rugby is woven into the warp and weft of South African society’
    • ‘Grant us the strength to love creation not merely for what it can give us, but because our health and holiness is woven - warp and weft - with its health and holiness.’
    • ‘The double ikat entails yarn with more than one colour on the weft or the warp (for parallel threads) or both.’
    • ‘Wool and linen could be mixed on a loom, with the wool creating the warp threads and the linen the weft.’
    • ‘Depending on the arrangement of the loom the warps run vertically (high-warp) or horizontally (low-warp) but in both cases the weaver works from the back of the textile.’
    • ‘The Pattushalis and the Devangis weave both warp and weft since centuries and the Pattushalis are the fine khadi weavers.’
    • ‘It would be a cunning weave - the warp and the weft so utterly tangled that the thugs set loose on the streets would flail themselves.’
    • ‘Woven from copper and lead strips, two new works, constructed as grids, swollen with empty pregnancies, provide a text, censoring itself, in rhythms of weft and warp.’
    • ‘The jali normally worked by tearing apart the warp and weft threads of the cloth and by preparing minute button hole stitches.’
    • ‘Unless the carpet is badly worn, or the pile is carefully separated to allow examination, neither weft nor warp will show from the front.’
    • ‘The warp and woof fibers of the organza, which were of the same diameter, thus formed right- and left-handed helices around the tube.’
    • ‘Such is his passion for the warp and weft, weave and print, and all things textile, that designer Mukesh is a veritable encyclopaedia of the rich and varied textile traditions of India.’
    • ‘Fischer's argument is that American society has permanent threads that form the warp of the woven cloth of American history.’
    • ‘Fear and violence are the warp and weft of life in Kashmir.’
    • ‘Women in blue plastic capes weave wool through the fence, using it as warp and weft.’
    • ‘In many cases, the muted hues of her warp and weft don't quite match up, lending each work a subtle textural richness.’
    • ‘Separating out the various frequencies and rhythms we garner and seek to discern the pattern being created before us from the skein of sounds as warp and weft are woven and unwoven.’
    • ‘But you should go see it, and not only that, you should look at it closely, the warp and weft of details that make it all hang together in such a unique way.’
    • ‘The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners.’
    • ‘The undyed warps were attached to the top of the loom and the ends were allowed to hang freely The weaving involves a variety of twining techniques to enable the weaver to create curvilinear designs.’
    • ‘Pluralism was woven into the warp and woof of Indian society.’
    • ‘What makes me teary-eyed is the strange melancholy the duo produce through the warp and weave of these contrasting elements.’
    • ‘The warp is stretched between two sticks, one is attached to a fixed point and the other to the waist of the weaver who controls the tension of the warp by sitting or standing upright.’
    • ‘Merina weavers use a technique known as akotyfahana, produced on a horizontal, fixed-heddle loom with a continuous weft and warp.’
  • 3A rope attached at one end to a fixed point and used for moving or mooring a ship.

  • 4archaic Alluvial sediment; silt.


Old English weorpan (verb), wearp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch werpen and German werfen ‘to throw’. Early verb senses included ‘throw’ and ‘hit with a missile’; the sense ‘bend’ dates from late Middle English. The noun was originally a term in weaving (see warp (sense 2 of the noun)).