[ dih-stawrt ]
See synonyms for: distortdistorteddistortingdistorter on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to twist awry or out of shape; make crooked or deformed: Arthritis had distorted his fingers.

  2. to give a false, perverted, or disproportionate meaning to; misrepresent: to distort the facts.

  1. 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.

Origin of distort

1580–90; from Latin distortus (past participle of distorquēre “to distort”), equivalent to dis-dis-1 + tor(qu)- (stem of torquēre “to twist”) + -tus past participle suffix

synonym study For distort

2. See misrepresent.

Other words for distort

Other words from distort

  • dis·tort·er, noun
  • dis·tor·tive, adjective
  • non·dis·tort·ing, adjective
  • non·dis·tort·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·dis·tor·tive, adjective
  • o·ver·dis·tort, verb (used with object)
  • un·dis·tort·ing, adjective

Words Nearby distort

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use distort in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for distort


/ (dɪˈstɔːt) /

  1. (often passive) to twist or pull out of shape; make bent or misshapen; contort; deform

  2. to alter or misrepresent (facts, motives, etc)

  1. electronics to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately, changing the shape of the waveform

Origin of distort

C16: from Latin distortus misshapen, from distorquēre to turn different ways, from dis- 1 + torquēre to twist

Derived forms of distort

  • distorted, adjective
  • distortedly, adverb
  • distortedness, noun
  • distorter, noun
  • distortive, adjective

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