adaptation

noun
ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce adaptation (audio) , -dəp- \

Definition of adaptation

1 : something that is adapted a new adaptation of an old recipe specifically : a composition rewritten into a new form a screen adaptation of a novel
2 : the act or process of adapting a process undergoing adaptation : the state of being adapted adaptation to changing circumstances
3 : adjustment to environmental conditions: such as
a : adjustment of a sense organ to the intensity or quality of stimulation
b : modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment : a heritable physical or behavioral trait that serves a specific function and improves an organism's fitness or survival

Other Words from adaptation

adaptational \ ˌa-​ˌdap-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce adaptation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​dəp-​ \ adjective
adaptationally adverb

Examples of adaptation in a Sentence

His stage adaptation of the novel was a success. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same title. The insect's evolutionary adaptations enable it to be almost invisible even when sitting in the middle of a leaf. a tool designed for easy adaptation
Recent Examples on the Web That’s made evident yet again by Joachim Back’s ambitious cinematic adaptation of Jonas Karlsson’s acclaimed existentialist novel The Room, receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 June 2022 Although this doesn’t happen easily without knowing what problems employees are experiencing during periods of transition and adaptation. David James, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Universal's film adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical ⁠— based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire ⁠— was first announced all the way back in 2016. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 8 June 2022 Like the films, TV series, and theatrical adaptations before it, Wednesday is based partly on the New Yorker cartoons first introduced by Charles Addams in 1938, further popularized in the 1960s by the sitcom adaptation The Addams Family. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 8 June 2022 The ringleader of The Umbrella Academy, Reginald looks pretty accurate in his Comic to Netflix adaptation. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 8 June 2022 Nominally, the same thing that has been the overarching danger in each of the movies, going back to Michael Crichton’s original novel and Spielberg’s first adaptation—the creeping hand of capitalistic greed. David Sims, The Atlantic, 8 June 2022 Hollander developed Showtime’s TV adaptation of Schrader’s film, which launched Richard Gere’s career. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 5 June 2022 The always incisive Richard Thomas seems an ideal choice to play Atticus Finch, the humane central character of both Harper Lee’s classic novel and Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 2 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adaptation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adaptation

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for adaptation

borrowed from French & Medieval Latin; French, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Medieval Latin adaptātiōn-, adaptātiō, from Latin adaptāre "to adapt" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

Learn More About adaptation

Time Traveler for adaptation

Time Traveler

The first known use of adaptation was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near adaptation

adaptate

adaptation

adaptationist

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for adaptation

Last Updated

13 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adaptation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adaptation. Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for adaptation

adaptation

noun
ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce adaptation (audio) \

Kids Definition of adaptation

1 : the act or process of changing to better suit a situation
2 : a body part or feature or a behavior that helps a living thing survive and function better in its environment

adaptation

noun
ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌad-ˌap-ˈtā-shən, -əp- How to pronounce adaptation (audio) \

Medical Definition of adaptation

1 : the act or process of adapting : the state of being adapted his ingenious adaptation of the electric cautery knife to … surgery— George Blumer
2 : adjustment to environmental conditions: as
a : adjustment of a sense organ to the intensity or quality of stimulation
b : modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment — compare adjustment sense 1b

Other Words from adaptation

adaptational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce adaptation (audio) \ adjective
adaptationally \ -​ē How to pronounce adaptation (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on adaptation

Nglish: Translation of adaptation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adaptation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about adaptation

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!