ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən , -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

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Other Words from adaptation

adaptational \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Already, a movie adaptation is in the works, thanks to none other than Priyanka Chopra. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Priyanka Chopra Is Developing a Wild Wild Country Movie. Here's What We Know So Far.," 31 Jan. 2019 The Shape of Water adaptation that followed was equally as bizarre, with Corden clad in a scaly wet suit reminiscent of the amphibious creature from the Oscar-winning Guillermo Del Toro film. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Audra McDonald & Dan Stevens Turn 'Taxi Driver,' 'The Shape of Water' Into Inappropriate Musicals On 'Late Late Show': Watch," 22 May 2018 According to History, the holiday’s next adaptation was Candlemas, a Christian tradition where the clergy would take their candles to the church to be blessed. Megan Stein, Country Living, "The Complete History of Groundhog Day," 18 Jan. 2019 The live-action television adaptation of Gerard Way’s graphic novel series The Umbrella Academy is nearly upon us. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 Shameless There are so many things to love about the spectacular U.S. adaptation of this U.K. show. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "15 Netflix Shows With the Hottest Sex Scenes You Need to Watch," 21 Dec. 2018 The live-action adaptation of Aladdin has been in works at Disney for a while and the production has already had its share of controversy. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The First Teaser Trailer for Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Is Here," 12 Oct. 2018 With designer Angela McIlvain's six-foot-long stuffed cow dangling from a meat hook at center stage for almost the duration of the show, how bad could this adaptation of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle from Cloudgate Theatre possibly be? Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "Another Jungle badly misunderstands Upton Sinclair’s original," 19 Apr. 2018 The actor has recently been directing episodes of his new Catch 22 adaptation for the studio, with the series now in post-production. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why George and Amal Clooney Didn't Attend Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for adaptation

The first known use of adaptation was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of adaptation

: something that is adapted especially : a movie, book, play, etc., that is changed so that it can be presented in another form
: a change in a plant or animal that makes it better able to live in a particular place or situation
: the process of changing to fit some purpose or situation : the process of adapting


ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən \

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


ad·​ap·​ta·​tion | \ ˌad-ˌap-ˈtā-shən, -əp- \

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 \ adjective
adaptationally \ -​ē \ adverb

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Comments on adaptation

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to deny responsibility for

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