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[dih-stawr-tid] /dɪˈstɔr tɪd/
not truly or completely representing the facts or reality; misrepresented; false:
She has a distorted view of life.
twisted; deformed; misshapen.
mentally or morally twisted, as with an aberration or bias:
He has a distorted sense of values.
Origin of distorted
First recorded in 1625-35; distort + -ed2
Related forms
distortedly, adverb
distortedness, noun
nondistorted, adjective
nondistortedly, adverb
nondistortedness, noun
undistorted, adjective
undistortedly, adverb


[dih-stawrt] /dɪˈstɔrt/
verb (used with object)
to twist awry or out of shape; make crooked or deformed:
Arthritis had distorted his fingers.
to give a false, perverted, or disproportionate meaning to; misrepresent:
to distort the facts.
Electronics. to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately by changing the frequencies or unequally changing the delay or amplitude of the components of the output wave.
1580-90; < Latin distortus (past participle of distorquēre to distort), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + tor(qu)- (stem of torquēre to twist) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
distorter, noun
distortive, adjective
nondistorting, adjective
nondistortingly, adverb
nondistortive, adjective
overdistort, verb (used with object)
undistorting, adjective
2. pervert, misconstrue, twist, falsify, misstate. See misrepresent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for distorted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That face, now ashy white, was distorted into a diabolical grin.

  • The lurid light of the fire showed us ourselves in distorted shadows.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • The face of the dead man was distorted and blackened by the agony of strangulation.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • His view's so distorted it makes me mad, but there's something in it you can't get away from.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • And her face was distorted by an emotion that seemed of sorrow and anger mingled.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for distorted


verb (transitive)
(often passive) to twist or pull out of shape; make bent or misshapen; contort; deform
to alter or misrepresent (facts, motives, etc)
(electronics) to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately, changing the shape of the waveform
Derived Forms
distorted, adjective
distortedly, adverb
distortedness, noun
distorter, noun
distortive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin distortus misshapen, from distorquēre to turn different ways, from dis-1 + torquēre to twist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for distorted



1580s, from Latin distortus, past participle of distorquere "to twist different ways, distort," from dis- "completely" + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Related: Distorted; distorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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