adapt·​able | \ ə-ˈdap-tə-bəl, a-\

Definition of adaptable

: capable of being or becoming adapted plants that are easily adaptable to colder climates

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Other Words from adaptable

adaptability \ -​ˌdap-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adaptable

plastic, pliable, pliant, ductile, malleable, adaptable mean susceptible of being modified in form or nature. plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form. plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated. pliable rubber tubing pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness. an athletic shoe with a pliant sole ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease. ductile metals such as copper malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape. the malleable properties of gold adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses. computer hardware that is adaptable

Examples of adaptable in a Sentence

an adaptable tool that combines a screwdriver, a corkscrew, and pliers an activities director who's adaptable to any kind of situation

Recent Examples on the Web

Optimists often note that most countries will be richer by the end of this century, and societies are adaptable, both of which ought to reduce the harm from a warming climate. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Adding Up the Cost of Climate Change in Lost Lives," 1 Aug. 2018 Where women are different from men is that women are more flexible, adaptable, and able to multitask. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Designer Q & A: 10 Questions for Patricia Urquiola," 28 Jan. 2010 Researchers injected their simulated environment with changes to gravity, hand angle and other variables so the software learns to operate in a way that is adaptable. Ryan Nakashima, The Seattle Times, "A robotic hand can juggle a cube _ with lots of training," 31 July 2018 For sultry summer days, there’s no better choice than the many varieties of light white fish because of their speedy cooking and adaptable character, taking on the flavor of their embellishments. Nicole Sours Larson,, "White fish & vegetables," 9 July 2018 The mai tai has always been versatile and adaptable, on purpose: It was envisioned as a simple mechanism for highlighting a great spirit. Lou Bustamante, San Francisco Chronicle, "The rise, fall and redemption of the mai tai," 10 May 2018 Tupperware’s marketing model relies on social networks, Nickles says, which means it’s highly adaptable to a specific dealer’s social circle and needs. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "The Story of Brownie Wise, the Ingenious Marketer Behind the Tupperware Party," 11 Apr. 2018 Even though the bacteria that cause staph infections are notoriously adaptable and may become resistant to some antibiotics, there are heavy-duty ones that can be administered via IV in the hospital. Lynsey Eidell, SELF, "Blink-182's Travis Barker Is Back in the Hospital Due to Complications From Blood Clots," 20 June 2018 Puerto Rico’s education officials, who consulted with US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said the reforms will allow schools to be more adaptable and competitive. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "First Hurricane Maria, now this: a Puerto Rico town mourns the loss of its school," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adaptable.' 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 adaptable

1692, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adaptable

adapt + -able

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Statistics for adaptable

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adaptable

The first known use of adaptable was in 1692

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More Definitions for adaptable



English Language Learners Definition of adaptable

: able to change or be changed in order to fit or work better in some situation or for some purpose : able to adapt or be adapted


adapt·​able | \ ə-ˈdap-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of adaptable

: capable of changing or being changed to better suit a situation

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Comments on adaptable

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


a complex dispute or argument

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