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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Definitions of manipulate

manipulate (v.)
influence or control shrewdly or deviously;
He manipulated public opinion in his favor
Synonyms: pull strings / pull wires
manipulate (v.)
hold something in one's hands and move it;
manipulate (v.)
tamper, with the purpose of deception;
Synonyms: fudge / fake / falsify / cook / wangle / misrepresent
manipulate (v.)
manipulate in a fraudulent manner;
Synonyms: rig
manipulate (v.)
maintain influence over (others or oneself) skillfully, usually to one's advantage;
She manipulates her boss
Synonyms: keep in line / control
manipulate (v.)
treat manually, as with massage, for therapeutic purposed;
From wordnet.princeton.edu