warp / wôrp/ • v. 1. become or cause to become bent or twisted out of shape, typically as a result of the effects of heat or dampness: [intr.] wood has a tendency to warp | [tr.] moisture had warped the box. ∎ [tr.] cause to become abnormal or strange; have a distorting effect on: your judgment has been warped by your obvious dislike of him | [as adj.] (warped) a warped sense of humor. 2. [tr.] move (a ship) along by hauling on a rope attached to a stationary object on shore. ∎ [intr.] (of a ship) move in such a way. 3. [tr.] (in weaving) arrange (yarn) so as to form the warp of a piece of cloth. 4. [tr.] cover (land) with a deposit of alluvial soil by natural or artificial flooding. • n. 1. a twist or distortion in the shape or form of something: the head of the racket had a curious warp. ∎ fig. an abnormality or perversion in a person's character. ∎ [as adj.] relating to or denoting (fictional or hypothetical) space travel by means of distorting space-time: the craft possessed warp drive warp speed. 2. [in sing.] (in weaving) the threads on a loom over and under which other threads (the weft) are passed to make cloth: fig. rugby is woven into the warp and weft of South African society. 3. a rope attached at one end to a fixed point and used for moving or mooring a ship. 4. archaic alluvial sediment; silt. DERIVATIVES: warp·age / ˈwôrpij/ n. (in sense 1 of the verb ).warp·er n. (in sense 3 of the verb ).
A. †cast, throw OE.; (after ON. orðum verpa) †utter XIII;
B. (after ON. orpinn pp. warped) tr. and intr. bend, twist aside XIV (fig. distort XVI);
C. weave, twine XIII;
D. tow XVI. OE. str. vb. weorpan = OS. werpan (Du. werpen), OHG. werfan (G. werfen), ON. verpa, Goth. wairpan; no certain cogns. outside Gmc.
So warp sb. threads extended lengthwise in the loom OE.; rope, hawser XIII. OE. wearp; some later senses are from the vb.
a throw or cast; a set of four items.
Examples: warp of cod, 1533; of fish, 1598; of herrings, 1894; of oysters, 1796; of salt-fish, 1436; of weeks (four weeks), 1599.