Definition of distort in English:


Syllabification: dis·tort
Pronunciation: /dəˈstôrt


[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.
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.
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.


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'.

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