verb (used with object)

to mar the natural form or shape of; put out of shape; disfigure: In cases where the drug was taken during pregnancy, its effects deformed the infants.
to make ugly, ungraceful, or displeasing; mar the beauty of; spoil: The trees had been completely deformed by the force of the wind.
to change the form of; transform.
Geology, Mechanics. to subject to deformation: The metal was deformed under stress.

verb (used without object)

to undergo deformation.

Origin of deform

1350–1400; Middle English deformen < Latin dēfōrmāre, equivalent to dē- de- + fōrmāre to form
Related formsde·form·a·ble, adjectivede·form·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·form·a·tive, adjectivede·form·er, nounun·de·form·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for deform

1. misshape. See mar. 2. ruin.



adjective Archaic.

deformed; ugly.

Origin of deform

1350–1400; Middle English defo(u)rme < Latin dēformis, equivalent to dē- de- + -formis -form Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deform

Historical Examples of deform

  • And if we are not, it is likely to give the soul such a wrenching as to deform it forever.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • I have no wish to know anything which may deform life and mar its beauty.

    Quo Vadis

    Henryk Sienkiewicz

  • After two seasons, this rude dwelling does not deform the scene.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau

  • In fact, they seem to block up the view, and to deform what they do not hide.

  • Rain does not deform the face of things everywhere as it does in a city.

    How to Observe

    Harriet Martineau

British Dictionary definitions for deform



to make or become misshapen or distorted
(tr) to mar the beauty of; disfigure
(tr) to subject or be subjected to a stress that causes a change of dimensions
Derived Formsdeformable, adjectivedeformability, noundeformer, noun

Word Origin for deform

C15: from Latin dēformāre, from de- + forma shape, beauty
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

Word Origin and History for deform

c.1400, "to disfigure," from Old French deformer (13c.), from Latin deformare "put out of shape, disfigure," from de- (see de-) + formare (see form (v.)). Related: Deformed; deforming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper