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verb \ə-ˈdäpt\

Simple Definition of adopt

  • : to take a child of other parents legally as your own child

  • : to begin to use or have (a different manner, method, etc.)

  • : to begin to use (a name that is not your real or original name)

Full Definition of adopt

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to take by choice into a relationship; especially :  to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child

  3. 2 :  to take up and practice or use <adopted a moderate tone>

  4. 3 :  to accept formally and put into effect <adopt a constitutional amendment>

  5. 4 :  to choose (a textbook) for required study in a course

  6. 5 :  to sponsor the care and maintenance of <adopt a highway>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. :  to adopt a child <couples choosing to adopt>

adopt·abil·i·typlay \-ˌdäp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
adopt·ableplay \-ˈdäp-tə-bəl\ adjective
adopt·er noun

Examples of adopt

  1. They were unable to have children of their own, so they decided to adopt.

  2. They decided to adopt a child.

  3. He was adopted as an infant.

  4. Did he adopt your point of view?

  5. We adopted some of the local customs.

  6. The author Samuel Clemens adopted the name Mark Twain.

  7. He was born in England but he has adopted Canada as his home.

  8. The assembly adopted a new constitution.

  9. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Senate.

Origin of adopt

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French adopter, from Latin adoptare, from ad- + optare to choose

First Known Use: 1500

Synonym Discussion of adopt

adopt, embrace, espouse mean to take an opinion, policy, or practice as one's own. adopt implies accepting something created by another or foreign to one's nature <forced to adopt new policies>. embrace implies a ready or happy acceptance <embraced the customs of their new homeland>. espouse adds an implication of close attachment to a cause and a sharing of its fortunes <espoused the cause of women's rights>.

Rhymes with adopt

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up adopt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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