manipulate

To manipulate something means to handle something skillfully. Like a sculptor manipulating clay or a really good politician working the crowd.

The verb manipulate evolved from manipulation, which back in the 1700s referred to a method of digging ore. So manipulating something originally only meant moving or arranging it by hand or mechanically. It wasn't until 1864 that people started using the word manipulate to describe someone exerting mental or emotional influence on others.

DEFINITIONS OF: manipulate

1

v influence or control shrewdly or deviously

“He manipulated public opinion in his favor”
Synonyms:
pull strings, pull wires
Type of:
act upon, influence, work
have and exert influence or effect

v control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage

“She manipulates her boss”
Synonyms:
control, keep in line
Types:
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tease
to arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them
handle
show and train
ingratiate
gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
cotton up, cozy up, play up, shine up, sidle up, suck up
ingratiate oneself to; often with insincere behavior
Type of:
interact
act together or towards others or with others

v hold something in one's hands and move it

Types:
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lay hands on
manage with the hands
mouse
manipulate the mouse of a computer
fiddle with, twiddle
manipulate, as in a nervous or unconscious manner
handle, manage, wield
handle effectively
control, operate
handle and cause to function
knead, massage, rub down
manually manipulate (someone's body), usually for medicinal or relaxation purposes
knead, work
make uniform
mix, ruffle, shuffle
mix so as to make a random order or arrangement
fiddle, monkey, tamper
play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly
diddle, fiddle, play, toy
manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
synchronise, synchronize
operate simultaneously
dial
operate a dial to select a telephone number
ply
wield vigorously
turn
alter the functioning or setting of
submarine
control a submarine
treadle
operate (machinery) by a treadle
relay
control or operate by relay
pump
operate like a pump; move up and down, like a handle or a pedal
proof
knead to reach proper lightness
masticate
grind and knead
reshuffle
shuffle again
riffle
shuffle (playing cards) by separating the deck into two parts and riffling with the thumbs so the cards intermix
cut
divide a deck of cards at random into two parts to make selection difficult
sweep, swing, swing out
make a big sweeping gesture or movement
gate
control with a valve or other device that functions like a gate
put out, retire
cause to be out on a fielding play
pedal
operate the pedals on a keyboard instrument
drive
operate or control a vehicle
aviate, fly, pilot
operate an airplane
Type of:
handle, palm
touch, lift, or hold with the hands

v treat manually, as with massage, for therapeutic purposed

Type of:
care for, treat
provide treatment for

v tamper, with the purpose of deception

Synonyms:
cook, fake, falsify, fudge, misrepresent, wangle
Types:
juggle
manipulate by or as if by moving around components
Type of:
cheat, chisel
engage in deceitful behavior; practice trickery or fraud

v manipulate in a fraudulent manner

Synonyms:
rig
Type of:
price
determine the price of
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