Definition of manipulate in English:


Line breaks: ma¦nipu|late
Pronunciation: /məˈnɪpjʊleɪt


[with object]
  • 1Handle or control (a tool, mechanism, information, etc.) in a skilful manner: he manipulated the dials of the set
    More example sentences
    • The surgeon can perform intricate procedures by using joystick-like controls to manipulate the surgical instruments.
    • One robotic arm is used to position the endoscope to provide visualisation of the operative site, while the other two robotic arms manipulate surgical instruments under the surgeon's control.
    • In art classes, each student explores and manipulates varied tools and mediums.
    operate, handle, work, control, use, employ, utilize
  • 1.1Alter, edit, or move (text or data) on a computer: the pupils can manipulate the data or screen image
    More example sentences
    • You can then create, edit and manipulate any audio files you like.
    • This behavior becomes very dangerous when people rely on a computer to store and manipulate important data but fail to back up those data.
    • My diagnosis is that since he is on broadband cable Internet, and has no firewall, someone actually hacked into his computer and is manipulating his system just for kicks.
  • 1.2Examine or treat (a part of the body) by feeling or moving it with the hand: this system of healing is based on manipulating the ligaments of the spine
    More example sentences
    • A trainer assists him with physical therapy, manipulating his body to prepare the joints for the rigors of swinging a golf club as violently as Woods does.
    • During a massage, a therapist manipulates your body's soft tissues - your muscles, skin and tendons - using his or her fingertips, hands and fists.
    • Manual healing treats medical problems by manipulating and realigning body parts.
  • 2Control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly or unscrupulously: the masses were deceived and manipulated by a tiny group
    More example sentences
    • We should always be trying to influence and manipulate our opponents - this is critical - but there is only so much we can do about that.
    • Don't allow judgmental and critical people to influence and manipulate you, as you are ready to make a final decision about the past.
    • It requires a seasoned politician to take advantage of a no-win situation and manipulate circumstances to drive home a point.
    exploit, control, influence, use/turn to one's advantage, manoeuvre, engineer, steer, direct, guide, twist round one's little finger, work, orchestrate, choreograph
  • 2.1Alter or present (data) so as to mislead: nations may still be able to manipulate their own data
    More example sentences
    • The court found that they had indeed libeled the good doctor by manipulating the facts to suit the story and he was awarded a million dollars plus.
    • I don't agree that we should manipulate data, and present only bits of broader data, to perpetuate a political agenda using conjecture and not science.
    • Yes, the headline numbers can be and will continue to be manipulated, massaged and presented in as bullish a light as possible.



Pronunciation: /-ləˈbɪlɪti/
More example sentences
  • Journalists grew self-conscious about the manipulability of information in an age of public relations and, as they learned in World War I, an age of propaganda.
  • The very idea of modern science, as Kass shows, ‘contains manipulability at its theoretical core.’
  • This playful work sets up themes that appear elsewhere, among them the manipulability of the technology of representation.


Pronunciation: /-ləb(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • However, most of these investigations were done in the laboratory, where both animals and their environments are under control and manipulable.
  • Moreover, the rule is highly manipulable, depending, among other things, on how broadly or narrowly a court construes the field in question.
  • We'd like this material to be accessible and manipulable.


More example sentences
  • If the body, and the material world at large become more manipulatable, more like a computer's memory, then the limiting factor will be the quality of the software that governs the manipulation.
  • The girls all followed, smiling broadly at the notion of a cute, manipulatable guy staying in their house.
  • Well they're only hackable or manipulatable if you give somebody the cards.


early 19th century: back-formation from manipulation.

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