1. an act or instance of distorting.
  2. the state of being distorted or the relative degree or amount by which something is distorted or distorts.
  3. anything that is distorted, as a sound, image, fact, etc.
  4. Optics. an aberration of a lens or system of lenses in which the magnification of the object varies with the lateral distance from the axis of the lens.


  1. the act or an instance of distorting or the state of being distorted
  2. something that is distorted
  3. an aberration of a lens or optical system in which the magnification varies with the lateral distance from the axis
  4. electronics
    1. an undesired change in the shape of an electromagnetic wave or signal
    2. the result of such a change in waveform, esp a loss of clarity in radio reception or sound reproduction
  5. psychol a change in perception so that it does not correspond to reality
  6. psychoanal the disguising of the meaning of unconscious thoughts so that they may appear in consciousness, e.g. in dreams

1580s, “action of distorting,” from Latin distortionem (nominative distortio), noun of action from past participle stem of distorquere (see distort). Figurative use (of words, etc.) from 1640s.


  1. A twisting out of normal shape or form.
  2. A psychological defense mechanism that helps to repress or disguise unacceptable thoughts.
  3. Parataxic distortion.
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