Etymology
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distortion (n.)

1580s, "action of distorting; state of being twisted out of shape," from Latin distortionem (nominative distortio), noun of action from past-participle stem of distorquere "to twist different ways, distort," from dis- "completely" (see dis-) + torquere "to twist" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist").

Figurative use (of words, etc.), "a perversion of the true meaning or intent" is from 1640s. Meaning "change in the wave-form of a signal by an electronic device" is from 1887, specifically of amplifiers by 1962.

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Definitions of distortion

distortion (n.)
a change for the worse;
Synonyms: deformation
distortion (n.)
a shape resulting from distortion;
Synonyms: distorted shape
distortion (n.)
an optical phenomenon resulting from the failure of a lens or mirror to produce a good image;
Synonyms: aberration / optical aberration
distortion (n.)
a change (usually undesired) in the waveform of an acoustic or analog electrical signal; the difference between two measurements of a signal (as between the input and output signal);
heavy metal guitar players use vacuum tube amplifiers to produce extreme distortion
distortion (n.)
the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean;
Synonyms: overrefinement / straining / torture / twisting
distortion (n.)
the mistake of misrepresenting the facts;
From wordnet.princeton.edu