- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /dɪˈfɔːm/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /dəˈfɔɹm/
- Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)m
- Hyphenation: de‧form
From Middle English deforme (“out of shape, deformed”) [and other forms], from Middle French deforme (modern French difforme (“misshapen, deformed”)), or directly from its etymon Latin dēfōrmis (“departing physically from the correct shape, deformed, malformed, misshapen, ugly; (figuratively) departing morally from the correct quality, base, disgraceful, shameful, unbecoming”), from dē- (prefix meaning ‘away from; from’) + fōrma (“form, appearance, figure, shape; fine form, beauty; design, outline, plan; model, pattern; mould, stamp; (figuratively) kind, manner, sort”) (further etymology unknown; perhaps related to Ancient Greek μορφή (morphḗ, “form, shape; appearance; outline; kind, type”), probably from Pre-Greek, but there is no consensus) + -is (suffix forming adjectives of the third declension).
deform (comparative more deform, superlative most deform)
- (obsolete except poetic) Having an unusual and unattractive shape; deformed, misshapen; hence, hideous, ugly.
- Synonyms: disfigured, distorted, shapeless; see also Thesaurus:misshapen, Thesaurus:ugly
- Antonyms: see Thesaurus:beautiful, Thesaurus:shapely
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, “Book I, Canto XII”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC, stanza 20, page 176:
- […] I did proclame, / That vvho ſo kild that monſter moſt deforme, / And him in hardy battayle ouercame, / Should haue mine onely daughter to his Dame, and of my kingdome heyre apparaunt bee: […]
- 1667, John Milton, “Book X”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 491-492:
- Sight ſo deform what heart of Rock could long / Drie-ey’d behold?
- 1785, William Cowper, “Book I. The Sofa.”, in The Task, a Poem, […], London: […] J[oseph] Johnson; […], →OCLC, page 28:
- The common overgrown vvith fern, and rough / VVith prickly goſs, that ſhapeleſs and deform / And dang’rous to the touch, has yet its bloom / And decks itſelf vvith ornaments of gold, / Yields no unpleaſing ramble; […]
- 1819, John Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, London: […] [Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, […], published 1820, →OCLC, stanza XLII, page 139:
- Angela the old / Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform; […]
- 1872, Robert Browning, Fifine at the Fair, London: Smith, Elder and Co., […], →OCLC, stanza 43, pages 49–50:
- [W]hat is wanting to success, / If somehow every face, no matter how deform, / Evidence, to some one of hearts on earth, that, warm / Beneath the veriest ash, there hides a spark of soul / Which, quickened by love's breath, may yet pervade the whole / O' the grey, and, free again, be fire?
From Middle English deformen (“to deform, disfigure, distort; to make ugly, mar; (figuratively) to disfigure morally; to defame; to dishonour”) [and other forms], from Old French deformer [and other forms] (modern French déformer (“to contort, distort, twist out of shape; (figuratively) to pervert”)), or directly from its etymon Latin dēfōrmāre (whence Medieval Latin difformāre), the present active infinitive of dēfōrmō (“to fashion, form; to delineate, describe; to design; to deform, disfigure; to mar, spoil”), from dē- (prefix meaning ‘away from; from’) + fōrmō (“to fashion, form, shape; to format”) (from fōrma (noun); see further at etymology 1).
deform (third-person singular simple present deforms, present participle deforming, simple past and past participle deformed)
- To change the form of (something), usually thus making it disordered or irregular; to give (something) an abnormal or unusual shape.
- c. 1593 (date written), [William Shakespeare], The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. […] (First Quarto), London: […] Valentine Sims [and Peter Short] for Andrew Wise, […], published 1597, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i]:
- I that am curtaild of this faire proportion / Cheated of feature by diſſembling nature, / Deformd, vnfinisht, ſent before my time / Into this breathing vvorld ſcarce halfe made vp, / And that ſo lamely and vnfaſhionable, / That dogs barke at me as I halt by them: […]
- c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], page 87, column 1:
- They ſay this tovvne is full of coſenage: / As nimble Iuglers that deceiue the eie: / Darke vvorking Sorcerers that change the minde: / Soule-killing VVitches, that deforme the bodie: […]
- 1678, Joseph Moxon, “Continued in the Art of Joynery”, in Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine of Handy-works. […], 2nd edition, number II, London: […] J[oseph] Moxon, […], published 1693, →OCLC, § 22 (Of the Piercer), page 90:
- [Y]ou muſt take care to keep the Bitt ſtraight to the Hole you pierce, leſt you deform the Hole, or break the Bitt.
- 1725, Homer, “Book XIV”, in [Alexander Pope], transl., The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume III, London: […] Bernard Lintot, →OCLC, lines 251–254, page 249:
- 1847 December, Ellis Bell [pseudonym; Emily Brontë], chapter XIII, in Wuthering Heights, volume I, London: Thomas Cautley Newby, […], →OCLC, page 323:
- The chairs were also damaged, many of them severely; and deep indentations deformed the panels of the walls.
- 1886 January 5, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Last Night”, in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., →OCLC, pages 75-76:
- Your master, Poole, is plainly seized with one of those maladies that both torture and deform the sufferer; hence, for aught I know, the alteration of his voice; hence the mask and his avoidance of his friends; […]
- 2000, Michael Chabon, chapter 2, in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay […], New York, N.Y.: Random House, →ISBN, part 3, page 178:
- […] Joe’s thick thatch of curls had been deformed by his headgear into a kind of glossy black hat, […]
- (also figuratively) To change the look of (something), usually thus making it imperfect or unattractive; to give (something) an abnormal or unusual appearance.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, “Book III, Canto VI”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC, stanza 17, pages 482–483:
- Shortly vnto the vvaſtefull vvoods ſhe came, / VVhereas ſhe found the Goddeſſe vvith her crevv, / […] / Some of them vvaſhing vvith the liquid devv / From of their dainty limbs the duſty ſvveat, / And ſoyle vvhich did deforme their liuely hevv, […]
- a. 1628 (date written), John Hayward, The Life, and Raigne of King Edward the Sixt, London: […] [Eliot’s Court Press, and J. Lichfield at Oxford?] for Iohn Partridge, […], published 1630, →OCLC, page 16:
- The yeare next enſuing he [Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset] invaded the Scottiſh borders, waſted Tinedale & the marches and deformed the country with ruine and ſpoile.
- 1638, Tho[mas] Herbert, Some Yeares Travels Into Divers Parts of Asia and Afrique. […], 2nd edition, London: […] R[ichard] Bi[sho]p for Iacob Blome and Richard Bishop, →OCLC, book I, page 80:
- [E]re Sun-riſe, his [Khusrau Mirza's] afflicted vvife (Cavvn Azems daughter) goes to viſit him; vvhere finding him ſpeechleſſe, and (by his contus'd face) murdered; never did poore vvretch ſhed more teares, or ſhevv more paſſion; by tearing her faire hayre, deforming her ſvveet face ſo fiercely, ſo amazedly, that her Father and all his family heare her, and ſee it to their griefe and admiration.
- 1702, N[icholas] Rowe, Tamerlane. A Tragedy. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC, Act V, scene i, page 62:
- Still to deform thy gentle Brovv vvith Frovvns! / And ſtill to be perverſe! It is a manner / Abhorrent from the ſoftneſs of thy Sex: […]
- 1774, Hen[ry] Home, “Sketch XII. Origin and Progress of American Nations.”, in Sketches of the History of Man. […], volume II (Progress of Men in Society), Edinburgh: […] W[illiam] Creech, […]; and for W[illiam] Strahan, and T[homas] Cadell, […], →OCLC, page 89:
- The [Native American] private men fought naked; their faces and bodies being deformed with paint, in order to terrify the enemy.
- 1813, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Canto VIII”, in Queen Mab; […], London: […] P. B. Shelley, […], →OCLC, page 104:
- No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven, / Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride / The foliage of the ever verdant trees; […]
- 1858 January 15 (date written), Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Hotel d’Angleterre, January 15th ”, in Passages from the French and Italian Note-books of Nathaniel Hawthorne, volume I, London: Strahan & Co., […], published 1871, →OCLC, pages 44–45:
- The square was surrounded by stately buildings, but had what seemed to be barracks for soldiers—at any rate—mean little huts, deforming its ample space; and a soldier was on guard before the statue of Louis le Grand.
- 1933, Gertrude Stein, “Gertrude Stein in Paris: 1903–1907”, in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, →OCLC, page 49:
- [Henri] Matisse at that time was at work at his first big decoration, Le Bonheur de Vivre. […] It was in this picture that Matisse first clearly realised his intention of deforming the drawing of the human body in order to harmonise and intensify the colour values of all the simple colours mixed only with white.
- To mar the character or quality of (something).
- a marriage deformed by jealousy
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), London: […] W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, →OCLC; republished as Shakspere’s Loves Labours Lost (Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles; no. 5), London: W[illiam] Griggs, […], , →OCLC, [Act V, scene ii]:
- [Y]our beautie Ladies / Hath much deformed vs, faſhioning our humours / Euen to the oppoſed ende of our ententes.
- 1659, John Evelyn, “A Character of England, as It was Lately Presented in a Letter to a Nobleman of France. […] The Third Edition.”, in William Upcott, compiler, The Miscellaneous Writings of John Evelyn, […], London: Henry Colburn, […], published 1825, →OCLC, page 156:
- But, Sr, I will no longer tire your patience wth these monsters (the subject of every contemptuous pamphlet) then with the madness of the Anabaptists, Quakers, Fift Monarchy-men, and a cento of unheard of heresies besides, which, at present, deform the once renowned Church of England, and approach so little to the pretended Reformation, which we in France have been made to believe, that there is nothing more heavenly wide.
- 1742, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter XXXII”, in Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded. […], volume III, London: […] S[amuel] Richardson; and sold by C[harles] Rivington, […]; and J. Osborn, […], →OCLC, page 240:
- It made me tremble a little […] to think what a sad thing Passion is, when Way is given to its ungovernable Tumults, and how it deforms and debases the noblest Minds!
- 1772, [George] Colman, “Prologue, Written by Mr. Colman, and Spoken by Mrs. Bulkley”, in [Elizabeth] Griffith, A Wife in the Right: A Comedy, London: […] Mess. E[dward] and C[harles] Dilly, […], J. Robson, […], and J. Walter, […], →OCLC, Act II, scene ii:
- VVomen in vain to keep their place have ſtriven; / From ev’ry trade, from each profeſſion driven. / […] / VVhile narrow prejudice deform’d the age, / No actreſs play’d, no female trod the ſtage; / […] / But vvoman once brought forvvard on the ſcene, / By man, like Eve, vvas lik’d as ſoon as ſeen.
- 1848, [James Fenimore Cooper], chapter X, in The Oak Openings; or, The Bee-hunter. […], volume I, New York, N.Y.: Burgess, Stringer, & Co., →OCLC, page 149:
- Without dragging into the account the thousand and one sins that disgrace and deform society, it will be sufficient to look into the single interest of civilized warfare, in order to make our case.
- 1851, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter XX, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume IV, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC, page 535:
- The earlier part of his discourse was deformed by pedantic divisions and subdivisions: but towards the close he told what he had himself seen and heard with a simplicity and earnestness more affecting than the most skilful rhetoric.
- To change the form of (something), usually thus making it disordered or irregular; to give (something) an abnormal or unusual shape.
- (intransitive) To become changed in shape or misshapen.
- 1974, Robert M[aynard] Pirsig, chapter 11, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, New York, N.Y.: William Morrow & Company, →ISBN, part II, page 133:
- If I answer that metal’s hard and shiny and cold to the touch and deforms without breaking under blows from a harder material, [David] Hume says those are all sights and sounds and touch. There’s no substance. Tell me what metal is apart from these sensations. Then, of course, I’m stuck.
|present tense||past tense|
- deformed (adjective)
- deformedness (obsolete, rare)
- deforming (adjective, noun)
- ^ “dēfō̆rme, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “deform, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.
- ^ “dēfō̆rmen, v.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “deform, v.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; “deform, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- deformation (engineering) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- deformation (physics) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- deformation (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
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