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distort

Syllabification: dis·tort
Pronunciation: /dəˈstôrt
 
/

Definition of distort in English:

verb

[with object]
1Pull or twist out of shape: a grimace distorted her fine mouth
More example sentences
  • Her face was distorted with agony, and small squeaks erupted from her mouth.
  • Their faces were distorted with fear and anguish.
  • His face was distorted with tension, sweat dripping from his temples to the tiny cheap pin on his shirt: manager.
Synonyms
twisted, warped, contorted, buckled, deformed, malformed, misshapen, disfigured, dysmorphic, crooked, awry, out of shape
1.1 [no object] Become twisted out of shape: the pipe will distort as you bend it
More example sentences
  • The shadows warped and distorted as a humanoid shape detached itself.
  • It was gnarled like a tree branch, twisting and distorting in places.
  • It twisted in sickening slow motion, distorting out of shape.
2Give a misleading or false account or impression of: many factors can distort the results
More example sentences
  • Many investors now distrust pension accounting because it distorts reported earnings.
  • In addition, the probability of the results being distorted by confounding factors has not been adequately addressed.
  • The nature of adulation does not distort his impression of reality.
Synonyms
misrepresented, perverted, twisted, falsified, misreported, misstated, garbled, inaccurate;
biased, prejudiced, slanted, colored, loaded, weighted, altered, changed
3Change the form of (an electrical signal or sound wave) during transmission, amplification, or other processing: you’re distorting the sound by overdriving the amp
More example sentences
  • Heat made the air thick - it must be distorting the sound waves, slowing them down.
  • These air pockets can distort the sound waves and produce an unclear image.
  • She screams at him until the volume of her voice is distorting the phone signal and he cannot comprehend a word she says.

Origin

late 15th century (in the sense 'twist to one side'): from Latin distort- 'twisted apart', from the verb distorquere, from dis- 'apart' + torquere 'to twist'.

More
  • torch from (Middle English):

    A torch in the original sense of ‘something soaked in an inflammable substance used to give light’ was often made of twisted hemp or other fibres. This is still the American meaning, and reflects the word's Latin origin, torquere ‘to twist’. Only in British English can torch describe a battery-powered electric lamp, which Americans call a flashlight. A torch song is a sad or sentimental song of unrequited love, whose name, used since the 1920s, comes from the phrase carry a torch for, ‘to love someone who does not love you in return’. The image in pass on the torch, ‘to pass on a tradition, especially one of learning or enlightenment’, is that of the runners in a relay race passing on the torch to each other, as was the custom in the ancient Greek Olympic Games. The Latin source of torch, torquere, is found in a large number of other English words. Most obviously it is the source of the engineer's torque (late 19th century), and the twisted Celtic neck-ring the torc (mid 19th century). Less obviously it is in contort (Late Middle English) ‘twist together’; distort (Late Middle English) ‘twist out of shape’; extort (early 16th century) ‘twist out of’; and retort (Late Middle English) ‘to twist back’ (the chemical apparatus gets its name from its twisted shape). Tortura ‘twisting, torment’ the Latin noun formed from the verb gives us torture and tortuous (both LME), and torment (Middle English). Thwart (Middle English) is an Old Norse word that goes back to the same Indo-European root.

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