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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)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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>

adoptabilityplay \-ˌdäp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
adoptableplay \-ˈdäp-tə-bəl\ adjective
adopter noun

Examples of adopt in a sentence

  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

ADOPT Defined for Kids


verb \ə-ˈdäpt\

Definition of adopt for Students


  1. 1 :  to legally take a child of other parents to raise

  2. 2 :  to take up as someone's own <After moving to Quebec, he adopted French as his language.>

  3. 3 :  to accept and put into action <The state adopted a law requiring drivers to wear seat belts.>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb \ə-ˈdäpt\

Legal Definition of adopt

  1. 1 :  to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child especially in compliance with formal legal procedures — see also equitable adoption

  2. 2 :  to take or accept as if one's own <[the company] adopted the signature on the financing statement — Barber-Greene Co. v. Nat'l City Bank of Minneapolis, 816 F.2d 1267 (1987)>

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

adoptable \ə-ˈdäp-tə-bəl\ play adjective
adoptability \ə-ˌdäp-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ adverb
adoption \ə-ˈdäp-shən\ play noun

Seen and Heard

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tending to dismiss important matters

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