Is there a word that refers to squeezing/compression or stretching/dilation while being impartial to the "direction"? For example, shift does not denote which direction is being moved in.

  • Malleate doesn't quite work and is quite obscure, given by Merriam-Webster as "to beat or mark or dent (a metal) with a hammer in working or decorating". It also has no synonyms given anywhere I can find.
  • Transform is how it is referred to in mathematical settings but doesn't work for other situations.
  • Adapt or alter are not specific enough in what is happening to the object
  • Edit: Scale or resize do not work as they imply that only the size of the object changes and not its shape

Sentence examples:

  • The object was __ by the atmospheric pressure
  • Please __ the square peg to make it fit in the round hole

(The object could have been made smaller or larger in either scenario.)


3 Answers 3


How about deform:

Distort the shape or form of; make misshapen.

Another possibility, suggested by the above, is distort:

Pull or twist out of shape.


resize means exactly this.

vt To change the size of something

The most basic tools in image editing software are crop, resize, and rotate.

Googling resize definition will gwt you a dozen or more online dictionary entries for this word.

  • Good thought, I was thinking additionally about the shape (otherwise scale would work perfectly aswell) but I can see my question does not state that specifically
    – johnDanger
    Nov 15, 2019 at 16:21

“(un)squeeze” or “(un)stretch” would do. It is idiomatic English, if not formal.

  • Could you provide some references?
    – fev
    Jul 23, 2022 at 19:35

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