manipulative [muh-nip-yuh-ley-tiv, -yuh-luh-tiv] adjective

  1. influencing or attempting to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one’s own purposes: a manipulative boss.
  2. of or relating to manipulation of objects or parts of the body; serving to manipulate: spinal manipulative therapy.


  1. Usually manipulatives. any of various objects or materials that students can touch and move around in order to help them learn mathematical and other concepts: the use of blocks, flashcards, and other manipulatives in the classroom.

Related formsma·nip·u·la·tive·ly, adverb Word Origin and History for manipulatively manipulative adj.

1816, in literal sense, from manipulate + -ive. Related: Manipulatively; manipulativeness.

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