adapt·​able ə-ˈdap-tə-bəl How to pronounce adaptable (audio)
: capable of being or becoming adapted
plants that are easily adaptable to colder climates
adaptability 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

Example Sentences

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 This family of four needed a chameleon, a firm whose signatures were adaptable, while retaining a strong point of view. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, 21 Dec. 2022 Zelensky was adaptable, trained not to lose his nerve under pressure. Time, 7 Dec. 2022 My older brothers have always instilled that in me — to be adaptable in any kind of situation. Jim Mcbride,, 29 Nov. 2022 In addition to being adaptable, the foam strip on the other side is weatherproof, oil resistant, dustproof, flame retardant, soundproof, anti-skidding, and insulating. Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2022 Plus, the move is adaptable, as using an EZ bar, dumbbells, or even a straight bar are all effectively viable options. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 4 Nov. 2022 Both recipes are easily adaptable to suit any flavor profile that inspires you. Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2022 Braddock shared the importance of being adaptable in the media business while speaking with young journalists at the Cleveland Media Academy on Oct. 15. Aidan Booker, cleveland, 28 Oct. 2022 Fox is putting its resources into content and IP that can travel around the world and be adaptable in many forms. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 17 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


adapt + -able

First Known Use

1692, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adaptable was in 1692

Dictionary Entries Near adaptable

Cite this Entry

“Adaptable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on adaptable

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