adapt

verb
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) , a- \
adapted; adapting; adapts

Definition of adapt

transitive verb

: to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification adapt the curriculum to students' needs

intransitive verb

: to become adapted adapt to a new enviroment

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Choose the Right Synonym for adapt

adapt, adjust, accommodate, conform, reconcile mean to bring one thing into correspondence with another. adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances. adapted themselves to the warmer climate adjust suggests bringing into a close and exact correspondence or harmony such as exists between parts of a mechanism. adjusted the budget to allow for inflation accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to effect a correspondence. accommodated his political beliefs in order to win conform applies to bringing into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle. refused to conform to society's values reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible. tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew

Did You Know?

Rooted in the origins of "adapt" is the idea of becoming specifically "fit" for something. English speakers adapted "adapt" in the 15th century from the French adapter, which itself traces to the Latin forms aptare, meaning "to fit," and aptus, meaning "fit" or "apt." Other descendants of "aptus" in English include "aptitude," "inept," and of course "apt" itself, as well as "unapt" and "inapt."

Examples of adapt in a Sentence

When children go to a different school, it usually takes them a while to adapt. She has adapted herself to college life quite easily. The camera has been adapted for underwater use. The clock was adapted to run on batteries. The movie was adapted from the book of the same title. adapting the movie for television
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Recent Examples on the Web For starters, mix your usual choice with a less sweetened whole grain cereal until your taste buds adapt. NBC News, "5 seemingly unhealthy foods that are actually good for you," 26 Nov. 2019 Some villages are working to adapt as more cellars - some stocked with tons of whale, walrus and other meats - turn up with pooling water and mold. Author: Rachel D'oro, Anchorage Daily News, "Failing permafrost cellars signal change in Alaska whaling towns," 26 Nov. 2019 When patterns of light and darkness change, organisms must rapidly adapt or pay the price. Christopher Preston, Smithsonian, "How Cities and Lights Drive the Evolution of Life," 26 Nov. 2019 This feature likely evolved as the group adapted to fill ecological niches as hypercarnivores — animals that eat only meat. Fox News, "Weird Triassic 'dragons' had massive heads. Here's why.," 25 Nov. 2019 The role as adapted by Sorkin was formerly played by actor Jeff Daniels, earning him a Tony nomination. CBS News, "Ed Harris, playing Atticus Finch, "didn't want to be influenced" by past "To Kill a Mockingbird" performances," 23 Nov. 2019 The film is set to be directed by Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison and written by Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins, who won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Ryan Destiny Delivers With Long-Awaited Video For 'The Same'," 22 Nov. 2019 The first part examines how the public and private health systems must adapt after being caught unprepared to deal with the challenges of this outbreak. oregonlive, "Homeless with HIV: A place to heal becomes a matter of life or death," 17 Nov. 2019 Players who are ready to adapt to digital are going to win the retail battle. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A 100-year-old British retail giant’s thumb rule for Indian firms: Adapt to the digital world," 12 Nov. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for adapt

Middle English adapted (as translation of Latin adaptātus), borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French adapter, borrowed from Latin adaptāre, from ad- ad- + aptāre "to put into position, bring to bear, make ready," verbal derivative of aptus "fastened, prepared, suitable" — more at apt entry 1

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Learn More about adapt

Time Traveler for adapt

Time Traveler

The first known use of adapt was in the 15th century

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Statistics for adapt

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Adapt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adapting. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for adapt

adapt

verb
How to pronounce adapt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of adapt

: to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation
: to change (something) so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose
: to change (a movie, book, play, etc.) so that it can be presented in another form

adapt

verb
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) \
adapted; adapting

Kids Definition of adapt

1 : to change behavior so that it is easier to function in a particular place or situation He easily adapted to high school.
2 : to make or become suitable or able to function The camera was adapted for underwater use.
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) \

Medical Definition of adapt

: to make fit (as for a specific or new use or situation) often by modification adapted himself to the new position

intransitive verb

: to become adapted : undergo adaptation

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More from Merriam-Webster on adapt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adapt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adapt

Spanish Central: Translation of adapt

Nglish: Translation of adapt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adapt for Arabic Speakers

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