verb \ə-ˈdapt, a-\

Definition of adapt

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

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to become adapted adapt to a new enviroment

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Examples of adapt in a Sentence

  1. When children go to a different school, it usually takes them a while to adapt.

  2. She has adapted herself to college life quite easily.

  3. The camera has been adapted for underwater use.

  4. The clock was adapted to run on batteries.

  5. The movie was adapted from the book of the same title.

  6. adapting the movie for television

Recent Examples of adapt from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of adapt

French or Latin; French adapter, from Latin adaptare, from ad- + aptare to fit, from aptus apt, fit

Synonym Discussion of 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

ADAPT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of adapt for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


verb \ə-ˈdapt\

Definition of adapt for Students




  1. 1 :  to change behavior so that it is easier to function in a particular place or situation He easily adapted to high school.

  2. 2 :  to make or become suitable or able to function The camera was adapted for underwater use.

Word Root of adapt

The Latin word aptus, meaning “fit” or “suitable,” gives us the root apt or ept. Words from the Latin aptus have something to do with being fitting or suitable. Something apt fits just right into a situation. To adapt is to change in order to fit a situation better. Someone who is adept has suitable skills to perform a task well, while someone who is inept does not.

Medical Dictionary


verb \ə-ˈdapt\

Medical Definition of adapt

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

  2. intransitive verb

  3. :  to become adapted :  undergo adaptation

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to fight against or to call in question

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