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[muh-nip-yuh-leyt] /məˈnɪp yəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), manipulated, manipulating.
to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner:
to manipulate people's feelings.
to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance:
to manipulate a large tractor.
to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one's purpose or advantage.
Medicine/Medical. to examine or treat by skillful use of the hands, as in palpation, reduction of dislocations, or changing the position of a fetus.
Origin of manipulate
First recorded in 1820-30; back formation from manipulation
Related forms
manipulatable, adjective
[muh-nip-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /məˈnɪp yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
nonmanipulative, adjective
nonmanipulatory, adjective
outmanipulate, verb (used with object), outmanipulated, outmanipulating.
unmanipulatable, adjective
unmanipulated, adjective
unmanipulative, adjective
unmanipulatory, adjective
3. juggle, falsify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for manipulatory
Historical Examples
  • It must have manipulatory organs, such as this being very obviously did have—organs very much like his own.

    Anything You Can Do ... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Among them is a fragment considered as the ne plus ultra of the chemical and manipulatory skill of the ancient workers.

British Dictionary definitions for manipulatory


(transitive) to handle or use, esp with some skill, in a process or action: to manipulate a pair of scissors
to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously
to falsify (a bill, accounts, etc) for one's own advantage
(in physiotherapy) to examine or treat manually, as in loosening a joint
Derived Forms
manipulability (məˌnɪpjʊləˈbɪlɪtɪ) noun
manipulatable, manipulable, adjective
manipulation, noun
manipulative, adjective
manipulatively, adverb
manipulator, noun
manipulatory, adjective
Word Origin
C19: back formation from manipulation, from Latin manipulus handful
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 manipulatory



1827, "to handle skillfully by hand," a back-formation from manipulation. Of mental influence, from 1864. Financial sense is from 1870. In mid-20c., it served as a euphemism for "masturbation." Related: Manipulated; manipulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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manipulatory in Medicine

manipulate ma·nip·u·late (mə-nĭp'yə-lāt')
v. ma·nip·u·lat·ed, ma·nip·u·lat·ing, ma·nip·u·lates
To handle and move in an examination or for therapeutic purposes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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