View synonyms for distortion


[ dih-stawr-shuhn ]


  1. an act or instance of distorting.
  2. the state of being distorted distorted or the relative degree or amount by which something is distorted distorted or distorts.
  3. anything that is distorted, distorted, as a sound, image, fact, etc.
  4. Optics. an aberration of a lens or system of lenses in which the magnification of the object varies with the lateral distance from the axis of the lens.


/ dɪˈstɔːʃən /


  1. the act or an instance of distorting or the state of being distorted
  2. something that is distorted
  3. an aberration of a lens or optical system in which the magnification varies with the lateral distance from the axis
  4. electronics
    1. an undesired change in the shape of an electromagnetic wave or signal
    2. the result of such a change in waveform, esp a loss of clarity in radio reception or sound reproduction
  5. psychol a change in perception so that it does not correspond to reality
  6. psychoanal the disguising of the meaning of unconscious thoughts so that they may appear in consciousness, e.g. in dreams
“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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Derived Forms

  • disˈtortional, adjective
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Other Words From

  • dis·tortion·al dis·tortion·ary adjective
  • nondis·tortion noun
  • over·dis·tortion noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of distortion1

First recorded in 1575–85, distortion is from the Latin word distortiōn- (stem of distortiō ). See distort, -ion
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Example Sentences

That “news staffer” needs a leader at Fox News with some standing, someone who could stand up to the multimillionaires who pack the prime-time schedule with lies and distortions.

Another perk of this lens shape is less distortion and glare.

The price distortions of stocks in the index turbocharge the small-cap advantage.

From Fortune

Our autobiographical memories are subject to all kinds of distortions—what psychologist Daniel Schacter cheekily calls “sins of commission.”

In particular, the researchers look for distortions caused by gravitational waves — ripples in space-time that, when they pass through the pulsars, change the blips’ arrival time on Earth.

And yet, even while seldom leaving the capital, they offer a perspective on the city that tilts toward distortion.

Second, however, dealing with TEKS at all means distortion, or worse.

Disguise, distortion, and deception were accepted as reality.

No doubt she's right, but wouldn't the best solution be to do away with the market distortion at the root of the problem?

Great TV shows reflect our lives back at us, even if it is with the fun-house distortion that sitcoms routinely pull off.

"Come nearer, Tatsu San," he whispered, forcing his face into the distortion of a smile.

No distortion of countenance, or aukward behaviour; no absence of mind; but to keep the Graces always in remembrance.

In fig. 72 distortion is carried too far; this figure is merely used as an illustration.

The street was empty and the acute sound of their steps struck in fantastic distortion against the city of silence.

We get some gravity, some magnetic, and some electrostatic field distortion, too.