Definition of manipulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /məˈnipyəˌlāt/


[with object]
1Handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful 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, work;
turn, pull
1.1Alter, edit, or move (text or data) on a computer.
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: a system of healing 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, unfairly, 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.
control, influence, use/turn to one's advantage, exploit, maneuver, engineer, steer, direct, gerrymander;
twist someone around one's little finger
2.1Alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.
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.
falsify, rig, distort, alter, change, doctor, massage, juggle, tamper with, tinker with, interfere with, misrepresent
informal cook, fiddle with



Pronunciation: /-ˌnipyələˈbilətē/
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: /məˈnipyələb(ə)l/
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.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlātəbəl/
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 earlier manipulation, from Latin manipulus 'handful'.

  • manage from mid 16th century:

    Managers now manage businesses, but the first things to be managed were horses. The earliest sense of manage in English was ‘to handle or train a horse’, or put it through the exercises of the manège (mid 17th century). This French word, used in English to mean ‘an area in which horses and riders are trained’ and ‘horsemanship’, is at root the same word as manage—both go back through Italian to Latin manus ‘hand’, the source also of manacles (Middle English) which restrain your hands; manicure (late 19th century) care of your hands; manipulate (early 19th century) to handle something; manner; manoeuvre; manual (Late Middle English) either done with your hands or a handbook; and manuscript (late 16th century) something written by hand.

Words that rhyme with manipulate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ma·nip·u·late

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