Etymology
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manipulate (v.)

1827, "to handle skillfully by hand," a back-formation from manipulation. As "to manage by mental influence," especially for one's own purposes, is by 1864. Financial sense is from 1870. By 1949 it served as a euphemism for "masturbate." Related: Manipulated; manipulating.

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manipulable (adj.)

"capable of being manipulated," 1859, from manipulate + -able. Related: Manipulability. Manipulatable is attested by 1900.

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manipulator (n.)

"one who manipulates" in any sense, 1804, agent noun from manipulate, perhaps on model of French manipulateur (1783). Related: Manipulatory.

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manipulative (adj.)

1816, in literal sense "of or pertaining to physical manipulation," from manipulate + -ive. In the sense of "tending to manage by mental influence," especially for one's own purposes, by 1909. Related: Manipulatively; manipulativeness.

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massage (v.)

"apply massage to, treat by means of massage," 1874, from massage (n.). Figurative sense of "manipulate" (data, etc.) is by 1966. Related: Massaged; massaging.

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palm (v.)

"impose (something) on (someone) by fraud," 1670s, from palm (n.1); around the same time it also meant "conceal in the palm of the hand" (1670s) and "handle, manipulate" (1680s). Extended form palm off (something, on someone) is from 1822.

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knead (v.)
Old English cnedan "to knead, manipulate by squeezing or pressing," from Proto-Germanic *knedan (source also of Old Saxon knedan, Middle Dutch cneden, Dutch kneden, Old High German knetan, German kneten, Old Norse knoða "to knead"). Originally a strong verb (past tense cnæd, past participle cneden). For pronunciation, see kn-. The evolution of the vowel is unusual. Related: Kneaded; kneading.
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duffer (n.)

"inept person; stupid, dull old man," 1842, especially "bad golfer" (by 1875), perhaps from Scottish duffar "dull or stupid person," from dowf "stupid," literally "deaf," from Old Norse daufr, with pejorative suffix -art. Or perhaps from 18c. thieves' slang duff (v.) "to dress or manipulate an old thing and make it look new," hence duffer "one who sells spurious goods at high prices" (1766).

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ploy (n.)

1722, "anything with which one amuses oneself, a harmless frolic," Scottish and northern England dialect, possibly a shortened form of employ. Popularized in the sense of "move or gambit made to manipulate others and gain advantage" by British humorist Stephen Potter (1900-1969), who parodied self-help manuals in books such as 1947's "The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: Or the Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating."

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train (v.)
"to discipline, teach, bring to a desired state by means of instruction," 1540s, probably from earlier sense of "draw out and manipulate in order to bring to a desired form" (late 14c.), specifically of the growth of branches, vines, etc. from mid-15c.; from train (n.). Sense of "point or aim" (a firearm, etc.) is from 1841. Sense of "fit oneself for a performance by a regimen or exercise" is from 1832. The meaning "to travel by railway" is recorded from 1856. Related: Trained; training.
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