verb (used with object), ma·nip·u·lat·ed, ma·nip·u·lat·ing.
- to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people’s feelings.
- to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a large tractor.
- to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one’s purpose or advantage.
- Medicine/Medical. to examine or treat by skillful use of the hands, as in palpation, reduction of dislocations, or changing the position of a fetus.
- (tr) to handle or use, esp with some skill, in a process or actionto manipulate a pair of scissors
- to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously
- to falsify (a bill, accounts, etc) for one’s own advantage
- (in physiotherapy) to examine or treat manually, as in loosening a joint
v.1827, “to handle skillfully by hand,” a back-formation from manipulation. Of mental influence, from 1864. Financial sense is from 1870. In mid-20c., it served as a euphemism for “masturbation.” Related: Manipulated; manipulating. v.
- To handle and move in an examination or for therapeutic purposes.