Definition of assimilation
2 : the incorporation or conversion of nutrients into protoplasm that in animals follows digestion and absorption and in higher plants involves both photosynthesis and root absorption
3 : change of a sound in speech so that it becomes identical with or similar to a neighboring sound <the usual assimilation of \z\ to \sh\ in the phrase his shoe>
4 : the process of receiving new facts or of responding to new situations in conformity with what is already available to consciousness
There are a handful of words in English that are examples of themselves, representatives of the very things that they describe. One such word is sesquipedalian ("having many syllables" or "characterized by the use of long words"). Another example, in a slightly less obvious fashion, is assimilate. When used as a technical word to describe a certain process of language change, assimilate refers to the habit that some sounds have of becoming more like the sounds that are close to them in a word (see assimilation, sense 3). For instance, the original spelling of immovable in English was inmovable, and over time the n began to sound more like its neighboring m, to the point that it actually became that letter.
Something similar occurred before assimilate was a word in English. Assimilate comes from the Latin prefix ad- (meaning "to, towards") and similis ("similar"). Over time the d of the prefix ad- assimilated itself with the s of similis.
First Known Use of assimilation
Rhymes with assimilation
abbreviation, abomination, acceleration, accentuation, accommodation, accreditation, acculturation, accumulation, actualization, adjudication, administration, adulteration, affiliation, agglomeration, alienation, alleviation, alliteration, amalgamation, amelioration, amplification, anglicization, annihilation, annunciation, anticipation, appreciation, appropriation, approximation, argumentation, articulation, asphyxiation, assassination, asseveration, association, atomization, attenuation, authentication, authorization, autoxidation, balkanization, bastardization, beautification, bowdlerization, calcification, canonization, capitulation, centralization, certification, cicatrization, civilization, clarification, classification, coagulation, codification, coeducation, cogeneration, cohabitation, collaboration, colonization, colorization, commemoration, commiseration, communication, concatenation, conciliation, confabulation, confederation, configuration, conglomeration, congratulation, consideration, consolidation, contamination, continuation, cooperation, coordination, corroboration, cross-pollination, crystallization, deactivation, debilitation, decapitation, deceleration, deconsecration, de-escalation, defenestration, defibrillation, deforestation, defragmentation, degeneration, deification, deliberation, delineation, demonization, denomination, denunciation, depopulation, depreciation, deracination, deregulation, desegregation, despoliation, determination, devaluation, digitization, disapprobation, discoloration, discrimination, disembarkation, disinclination, disinformation, disintegration, Disneyfication, dissemination, dissimulation, dissociation, documentation, domestication, dramatization, echolocation, edification, ejaculation, elaboration, elimination, elucidation, emaciation, emancipation, emasculation, enumeration, enunciation, equalization, equivocation, eradication, evacuation, evaluation, evaporation, evisceration, exaggeration, examination, exasperation, exhilaration, exoneration, expropriation, extenuation, extermination, extrapolation, facilitation, falsification, felicitation, feminization, fertilization, feudalization, finalization, Finlandization, formalization, fortification, fossilization, gasification, gentrification, gesticulation, globalization, glorification, gratification, habituation, hallucination, harmonization, humanization, humiliation, hyperinflation, idolization, illumination, imagination, impersonation, implementation, improvisation, inauguration, incarceration, incineration, incorporation, incrimination, indoctrination, inebriation, infatuation, initiation, inoculation, insemination, insinuation, instrumentation, internalization, interpretation, interrelation, interrogation, intimidation, intoxication, invagination, invalidation, investigation, invigoration, irradiation, itemization, justification, legalization, liberalization, magnetization, magnification, maladaptation, manifestation, manipulation, matriculation, maximization, mechanization, memorization, miscegenation, mobilization, modernization, modification, mortification, multiplication, mystification, nationalization, naturalization, negotiation, normalization, notification, novelization, nullification, obliteration, organization, origination, orientation, ornamentation, ossification, oxygenation, pacification, paralyzation, participation, pasteurization, perambulation, peregrination, perpetuation, personalization, petrification, polarization, pontification, precipitation, predestination, prefabrication, prefiguration, premeditation, preoccupation, preordination, preregistration, prettification, privatization, procrastination, prognostication, proliferation, propitiation, purification, qualification, ramification, randomization, ratification, realization, reciprocation, recombination, recommendation, recrimination, recuperation, redecoration, reduplication, reforestation, refrigeration, regeneration, regimentation, regurgitation, reification, reincarnation, reintegration, reiteration, rejuvenation, remuneration, renunciation, repatriation, representation, republication, repudiation, retaliation, reverberation, sanctification, scarification, sedimentation, sensitization, Serbo-Croatian, signification, simplification, socialization, solicitation, sophistication, specialization, specification, stabilization, standardization, sterilization, stratification, subordination, subpopulation, supplementation, synchronization, systemization, teleportation, tergiversation, transfiguration, transliteration, transvaluation, triangulation, uglification, unification, unionization, urbanization, verification, versification, victimization, vilification, vituperation, vocalization, vulgarization, westernization, x-radiation
ASSIMILATION Defined for Kids
Definition of assimilation for Students
: the act or process of assimilating
Medical Definition of assimilation
2: the incorporation or conversion of nutrients into protoplasm that in animals follows digestion and absorption and in higher plants involves both photosynthesis and root absorption
3: the process of receiving new facts or of responding to new situations in conformity with what is already available to consciousness—compare apperception
Learn More about assimilation
Medical Dictionary: Definition of "assimilation" Spanish Central: Translation of "assimilation" Nglish: Translation of "assimilation" for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of "assimilation" for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "assimilation"
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