[ muh-nip-yuh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: manipulatemanipulatedmanipulatesmanipulating on

verb (used with object),ma·nip·u·lat·ed, ma·nip·u·lat·ing.
  1. to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings.

  2. to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a large tractor.

  1. to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one's purpose or advantage.

  2. Medicine/Medical. to examine or treat by skillful use of the hands, as in palpation, reduction of dislocations, or changing the position of a fetus.

Origin of manipulate

First recorded in 1820–30; back formation from manipulation

Other words for manipulate

Other words from manipulate

  • ma·nip·u·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • ma·nip·u·la·to·ry [muh-nip-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /məˈnɪp yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • non·ma·nip·u·la·tive, adjective
  • non·ma·nip·u·la·to·ry, adjective
  • out·ma·nip·u·late, verb (used with object), out·ma·nip·u·lat·ed, out·ma·nip·u·lat·ing.
  • un·ma·nip·u·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ma·nip·u·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·ma·nip·u·la·tive, adjective
  • un·ma·nip·u·la·to·ry, adjective

Words Nearby manipulate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use manipulate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for manipulate


/ (məˈnɪpjʊˌleɪt) /

  1. (tr) to handle or use, esp with some skill, in a process or action: to manipulate a pair of scissors

  2. to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously

  1. to falsify (a bill, accounts, etc) for one's own advantage

  2. (in physiotherapy) to examine or treat manually, as in loosening a joint

Origin of manipulate

C19: back formation from manipulation, from Latin manipulus handful

Derived forms of manipulate

  • manipulability (məˌnɪpjʊləˈbɪlɪtɪ), noun
  • manipulatable or manipulable, adjective
  • manipulation, noun
  • manipulative, adjective
  • manipulatively, adverb
  • manipulator, noun
  • manipulatory, 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