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

An adaptation of cartoonist John Callahan's memoir, the movie follows a man's recovery and struggle with addiction after an accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Beth Ditto talks plus-size style, outspoken celebrities and acting with Joaquin Phoenix," 10 July 2018 The series really took off with the video game adaptations by CD Projekt Red, starting in 2007. Channing King, Indianapolis Star, "'The Witcher' tabletop RPG to debut at Gen Con in August," 7 July 2018 As its first Indian original (several more, including an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children, are in the works) Sacred Games is expanding voices of Southeast Asia to a global audience., "Sacred Games Is Netflix’s New Narcos, With A Twist," 6 July 2018 The musical’s book is by Hugh Wheeler, based in part on a nonmusical 1970 stage adaptation by British playwright Christopher Bond, which amped up the story’s psychological elements. Christopher Arnott,, "Terrence Mann Kills It As 'Sweeney Todd' At CT Rep," 26 June 2018 Amandla also opened up about their various new projects in the works including an adaptation of The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken and Angie Thomas' book The Hate U Give. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Amandla Stenberg Comes Out As Gay in New Interview," 18 June 2018 Here’s a theory for you: Disgust is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation to keep us from harm, and a bare male foot bespeaks vulnerability. Bobby Doherty, The Cut, "The Great Mandals Debate," 12 June 2018 The 1961 film, an adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway musical of the same name, was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and won multiple Academy Awards. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Top Picks: Ray LaMontagne’s 'Part of the Light,' the podcast 'Giants of History,' and more top picks," 9 June 2018 The adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma effectively telescopes the epic plot. Charles Mcnulty,, "The women of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns,' casting a spell onstage," 5 June 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

9 Sep 2018

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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 \ \ adverb

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