Manipulate refers to the act of skillfully and purposefully influencing or controlling someone or something, often through deceptive or dishonest means. It involves maneuvering or directing someone or something towards a desired outcome, often for personal gain.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



control, influence, handle, maneuver, operate, steer, manage, direct, guide, orchestrate, regulate, dominate, exploit


neglect, ignore, disregard, mismanage, mishandle

Example sentences

  • The politician was accused of manipulating the media to gain support for his campaign.
  • The coach was accused of manipulating the game by bribing the referees.
  • The company was manipulating the stock prices to benefit its investors.
  • The artist was skilled at manipulating colors and textures to create a unique style.


Manipulate is a term that is often used in a negative sense, as it implies deceit or unfair tactics. It can refer to a wide range of behaviors, from subtle persuasion to overt coercion, and can be applied to various situations and contexts.

The word manipulate comes from the Latin root “manus,” meaning hand. The suffix “-ate” is often used to form verbs, indicating the act of performing or carrying out the action of the root word. Therefore, manipulate literally means “to handle or control with the hand."

There are several variations of the word manipulate, including manipulator (noun), manipulative (adjective), and manipulation (noun). Manipulative is often used to describe someone or something that uses manipulative tactics to achieve its goals. Manipulation refers to the act or process of manipulating, and can also refer to the result of manipulation, such as a manipulated image or data.

It is important to note that manipulation can be both positive and negative, depending on the intent and outcome of the behavior. In some cases, manipulation can be used to achieve a positive outcome, such as in the field of medicine or psychology, where manipulation can be used to help patients recover from illness or trauma. However, when manipulation is used for personal gain or to harm others, it can be harmful and unethical.

Overall, manipulate is a term that connotes a sense of control or influence, often in a way that is not entirely transparent or honest. Its various forms and variations can help to provide a more nuanced understanding of its meaning and usage in different contexts