v. de·formed, de·form·ing, de·forms
1. To alter from proper or natural form; misshape: "We shoved off. Almost immediately we hit something that deformed a propeller" (William Least Heat-Moon).
2. To spoil the beauty or appearance of; disfigure: "They recalled the fresh young image of the Handsome Sailor, that face never deformed by a sneer" (Herman Melville). See Synonyms at distort.
3. Physics To alter the shape of by pressure or stress.
To become deformed: A baseball deforms on being hit.
[Middle English deformen, from Old French deformer, from Latin dēfōrmāre : dē-, de- + fōrma, form.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.