adapt·​er | \ ə-ˈdap-tər, a-\
variants: or less commonly adaptor

Definition of adapter

1 : one that adapts
2a : a device for connecting two parts (as of different diameters) of an apparatus
b : an attachment for adapting apparatus for uses not originally intended

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of adapter in a Sentence

adapters for the food mixer include a meat grinder and an ice cream maker

Recent Examples on the Web

The Ghostly Super Nt will be $249.99, compared to $189.99 for the original, though the new model does come bundled with a wireless controller and adapter, which is absent from the base Super Nt. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Analogue’s limited edition SNES has custom sounds from your favorite Ghostly artists," 3 Dec. 2018 Apple is still selling the headphone adapter on its website for its usual $9. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Your new $1,000+ iPhone won’t come with a headphone dongle in the box," 12 Sep. 2018 The worldwide smart home device market — including smart speakers, digital media adapters, lighting, thermostats, home monitoring and security devices — is expected to grow 27 percent this year to about 550 million units, according to IDC. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 One web developer offers a smartphone app that, when used with a diagnostic port adapter, can activate the dormant AM radio reception in a BMW i3 EV. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "Your Tesla Can Go Zero to 60 in 2.5 Seconds But Can’t Get AM Radio," 6 Nov. 2018 Apple claims the battery can last for 10 hours, and the device comes with an 18W power adapter. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Adieu, home button—Apple’s new iPad Pros have nearly edge-to-edge screens, FaceID," 30 Oct. 2018 The optional wireless adapter frees you from pesky cords. Jeffrey Van Camp, WIRED, "VR Headsets That Will Transport You, Wherever the Destination," 26 May 2018 New feed lines and thrust adapters were required, but the craft will otherwise appear virtually the same. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "The Relaunch," 1 Dec. 2015 The back of the box has ports for HDMI, the IR dongle, microUSB, and power; there’s still no Ethernet jack, but there is an Ethernet adapter in the box this time around. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Amazon’s Fire TV Cube is like a Fire TV blended with an Echo Dot," 7 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of adapter

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for adapter

adapt + -er entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adapter

Statistics for adapter

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adapter

The first known use of adapter was in 1753

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adapter



English Language Learners Definition of adapter

: a device that is used to connect two pieces of equipment that were not designed to be connected


variants: also adaptor \ ə-​ˈdap-​tər \

Medical Definition of adapter

1 : one that adapts
2a : a device for connecting two parts (as of different diameters) of an apparatus
b : an attachment for adapting apparatus for uses not originally intended

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on adapter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adapter

Spanish Central: Translation of adapter

Nglish: Translation of adapter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adapter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adapter

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


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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