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 formsdis·tort·ed·ly, adverbdis·tort·ed·ness, nounnon·dis·tort·ed, adjectivenon·dis·tort·ed·ly, adverbnon·dis·tort·ed·ness, nounun·dis·tort·ed, adjectiveun·dis·tort·ed·ly, adverb



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.

Origin of distort

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 formsdis·tort·er, noundis·tor·tive, adjectivenon·dis·tort·ing, adjectivenon·dis·tort·ing·ly, adverbnon·dis·tor·tive, adjectiveo·ver·dis·tort, verb (used with object)un·dis·tort·ing, adjective

Synonyms for distort

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distorted

Contemporary Examples of distorted

Historical Examples of distorted

  • 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 (tr)

(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 Formsdistorted, adjectivedistortedly, adverbdistortedness, noundistorter, noundistortive, adjective

Word Origin for distort

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

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