From Middle English warp, werp, from Old English wearp, warp (“a warp, threads stretched lengthwise in a loom, twig, osier”), from Proto-Germanic *warpą (“a warp”), from Proto-Indo-European *werb- (“to turn, bend”). Cognate with Middle Dutch warp, Middle Low German warp, German Warf, Danish varp, Swedish varp.
warp (countable and uncountable, plural warps)
- (uncountable) The state, quality, or condition of being twisted, physically or mentally:
- (uncountable) The state, quality, or condition of being physically bent or twisted out of shape.
- (uncountable) The state, quality, or condition of being deviant from what is right or proper morally or mentally.
- (countable) A distortion:
- (countable) A distortion or twist, such as in a piece of wood (also used figuratively).
- (countable) A mental or moral distortion, deviation, or aberration.
- (weaving) The threads that run lengthwise in a woven fabric; crossed by the woof or weft.
- (figuratively) The foundation, the basis, the undergirding.
- (nautical) A line or cable or rode as is used in warping (mooring or hauling) a ship, and sometimes for other purposes such as deploying a seine or creating drag.
- A theoretical construct that permits travel across a medium without passing through it normally, such as a teleporter or time warp.
- A situation or place which is or seems to be from another era; a time warp.
- The sediment which subsides from turbid water; the alluvial deposit of muddy water artificially introduced into low lands in order to enrich or fertilise them.
- (obsolete outside dialectal) A throw or cast, as of fish (in which case it is used as a unit of measure: about four fish, though sometimes three or even two), oysters, etc.
From Middle English werpen, weorpen, worpen, from Old English weorpan (“to throw, cast, cast down, cast away, throw off, throw out, expel, throw upon, throw open, drive away, sprinkle, hit, hand over, lay hands on (a person), cast lots, charge with, accuse of”), from Proto-Germanic *werpaną (“to throw, turn”), from Proto-Indo-European *werb- (“to bend, turn”). Cognate with Scots warp (“to throw, warp”), North Frisian werpen (“to throw”), Dutch werpen (“to throw, cast”), German werfen (“to throw, cast”), Icelandic verpa (“to throw”).
warp (third-person singular simple present warps, present participle warping, simple past and past participle warped)
- To twist or become twisted, physically or mentally:
- (transitive) To twist or turn (something) out of shape; to deform.
- (intransitive) To become twisted out of shape; to deform.
- (transitive) To deflect or turn (something) away from a true, proper or moral course; to pervert; to bias.
- (intransitive) To go astray or be deflected from a true, proper or moral course; to deviate.
- (transitive, intransitive, obsolete, ropemaking) To run (yarn) off the reel into hauls to be tarred.
- (transitive) To arrange (strands of thread, etc) so that they run lengthwise in weaving.
- (transitive, intransitive, rare, obsolete, figuratively) To plot; to fabricate or weave (a plot or scheme).
- (transitive, rare, obsolete, poetic) To change or fix (make fixed, for example by freezing).
- To move:
- (transitive, nautical) To move a vessel by hauling on a line or cable that is fastened to an anchor or pier; (especially) to move a sailing ship through a restricted place such as a harbour.
- (intransitive, nautical, of a ship) To move or be moved by this method.
- (intransitive, rare, dated) To fly with a bending or waving motion, like a flock of birds or insects.
- (transitive, intransitive) To travel or transport across a medium without passing through it normally, as by using a teleporter or time warp.
- (transitive, intransitive, obsolete outside dialectal, of an animal) To bring forth (young) prematurely.
- (transitive, intransitive, agriculture) To fertilize (low-lying land) by letting the tide, a river, or other water in upon it to deposit silt and alluvial matter.
- (transitive, very rare, obsolete) To throw.