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[wawrp] /wɔrp/
verb (used with object)
to bend or twist out of shape, especially from a straight or flat form, as timbers or flooring.
to bend or turn from the natural or true direction or course.
to distort or cause to distort from the truth, fact, true meaning, etc.; bias; falsify:
Prejudice warps the mind.
Aeronautics. to curve or bend (a wing or other airfoil) at the end or ends to promote equilibrium or to secure lateral control.
Nautical. to move (a vessel) into a desired place or position by hauling on a rope that has been fastened to something fixed, as a buoy or anchor.
Agriculture. to fertilize (land) by inundation with water that deposits alluvial matter.
verb (used without object)
to become bent or twisted out of shape, especially out of a straight or flat form:
The wood has warped in drying.
to be or become biased; hold or change an opinion due to prejudice, external influence, or the like.
  1. to warp a ship or boat into position.
  2. (of a ship or boat) to move by being warped.
(of a stratum in the earth's crust) to bend slightly, to a degree that no fold or fault results.
a bend, twist, or variation from a straight or flat form in something, as in wood that has dried unevenly.
a mental twist, bias, or quirk, or a biased or twisted attitude or judgment.
the set of yarns placed lengthwise in the loom, crossed by and interlaced with the weft, and forming the lengthwise threads in a woven fabric.
a situation, environment, etc., that seems characteristic of another era, especially in being out of touch with contemporary life or attitudes, etc.
Also called spring, spring line. Nautical. a rope for warping or hauling a ship or boat along or into position.
alluvial matter deposited by water, especially water let in to inundate low land so as to enrich it.
Origin of warp
before 900; (v.) Middle English werpen, Old English weorpan to throw; cognate with German werfen, Old Norse verpa, Gothic wairpan; (noun) Middle English warpe, Old English wearp; cognate with German Warf, Old Norse varp
Related forms
warpage, noun
unwarping, adjective
1. turn, contort, distort. 2. swerve, deviate.
1, 7. straighten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for warp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is not affected by moisture and it is therefore not so liable to warp and lose its shape.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • Of this warp and woof have all the strange patterns of Spanish life been woven.

    Rosinante to the Road Again

    John Dos Passos
  • And as a shuttle separates the warp from the woof, so a name distinguishes the natures of things.

    Cratylus Plato
  • As in a web the warp is stronger than the woof, so should the rulers be stronger than their half-educated subjects.

    Laws Plato
  • That helplessness, which I felt rather than saw, wove into the warp of my love.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for warp


to twist or cause to twist out of shape, as from heat, damp, etc
to turn or cause to turn from a true, correct, or proper course
to pervert or be perverted
(transitive) to prepare (yarn) as a warp
(nautical) to move (a vessel) by hauling on a rope fixed to a stationary object ashore or (of a vessel) to be moved thus
(transitive) (formerly) to curve or twist (an aircraft wing) in order to assist control in flight
(transitive) to flood (land) with water from which alluvial matter is deposited
the state or condition of being twisted out of shape
a twist, distortion, or bias
a mental or moral deviation
the yarns arranged lengthways on a loom, forming the threads through which the weft yarns are woven
the heavy threads used to reinforce the rubber in the casing of a pneumatic tyre
(nautical) a rope used for warping a vessel
alluvial sediment deposited by water
Derived Forms
warpage, noun
warped, adjective
warper, noun
Word Origin
Old English wearp a throw; related to Old High German warf, Old Norse varp throw of a dragging net, Old English weorpan to throw
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 warp

"to bend, twist, distort," Old English weorpan "to throw, throw away, hit with a missile," from Proto-Germanic *werpanan "to fling by turning the arm" (cf. Old Saxon werpan, Old Norse verpa "to throw," Swedish värpa "to lay eggs," Old Frisian werpa, Middle Low German and Dutch werpen, German werfen, Gothic wairpan "to throw"), from PIE *werb- "to turn, bend" (cf. Latin verber "whip, rod;" Greek rhabdos "rod," rhombos "magic wheel"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Connection between "turning" and "throwing" is perhaps in the notion of rotating the arm in the act of throwing; cf. Serbo-Croatian obratiti, Old Church Slavonic vreshti "to throw." The meaning "twist out of shape" is first recorded c.1400; intransitive sense is from mid-15c. Related: Warped; warping.


"threads running lengthwise in a fabric," Old English wearp-, from Proto-Germanic *warpo- (cf. Middle Low German warp, Old High German warf "warp," Old Norse varp "cast of a net"), from root *werp- (see warp (v.)). The warp of fabric is that across which the woof is "thrown." Applied in 20c. astrophysics to the "fabric" of space-time, popularized in noun phrase warp speed by 1960s TV series "Star Trek."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for warp


Related Terms

time warp

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with warp


In addition to the idiom beginning with warp also see: time warp
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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