adaptive

adjective
adap·​tive | \ ə-ˈdap-tiv How to pronounce adaptive (audio) , a-\

Definition of adaptive

1 : providing, contributing to, or marked by adaptation : arising as a result of adaptation … left ventricular hypertrophy should not be considered solely an adaptive response to an increased ventricular workload.— Edward D. Frohlich et al. An effort to identify the healthy adaptive need that is being met by a patient's behavior can result in increased empathy for the patient.— Thomas O. Brackett specifically : of, relating to, or being a heritable trait that serves a specific function and improves an organism's fitness or survival Webbed feet is an adaptive trait in aquatic animals.
2a : designed or intended to assist disabled persons : assistive adaptive devices
b : engaged in by disabled persons with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for a disability adaptive skiing
c : participating in a sport with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for disability an adaptive skier

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Other Words from adaptive

adaptively adverb
adaptiveness noun
adaptivity \ ˌa-​ˌdap-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce adaptivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of adaptive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Their line of adaptive clothing, aptly labeled Tommy Adaptive, boasts the same signature colors, design, and cool vibe consumers are used to. Edward Lampley, Teen Vogue, "What It's Like to Be a Disabled Model in the Fashion Industry," 5 Sep. 2018 In the same way, the traits associated with domestication—like flatter faces and smaller brains—may not be evolutionarily adaptive in themselves. Richard Wrangham, WSJ, "Humans: The Domesticated Primates," 10 Jan. 2019 Ball believes fitness professionals who work with adaptive athletes should remember that everyone is an expert in their own body. Susie Armitage, SELF, "This Is How an Aerial Performer Restarted Her Career After Having Both Feet Amputated," 23 Jan. 2019 Polysaccharides found in both reishi and astragalus may support adaptive immunity (long-term immune health). Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Meet the Eckhaus Latta–Approved Herbalist With a Prescription for Balanced Skin and Less Stress," 4 Jan. 2019 Think kinetic science, orthopedic surgery, neuroscience, advanced wound healing, vital-sign monitors, and adaptive physical therapy for people with disabilities—just for starters. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Battery Fashion: Scientists Weave Rechargeable Electronics Into Clothes," 9 Nov. 2018 Check out the button detail... ...and the gorgeous back: The Invictus Games are a international adaptive sporting event that Markle's husband Prince Harry founded four years ago. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Closed Out the Invictus Games in a Stunning Antonio Berardi Tuxedo Dress," 27 Oct. 2018 As an alternative to the standard LED low and high beams, there’s an optional adaptive front lighting system that incorporates triple-beam lights. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Posher, sleeker 2019 Lexus ES will have Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa," 16 June 2018 But there are plenty of other diversions, including new developments in entertainment: the opening of Ballet Memphis theater; adaptive reuse projects with significant public art spaces; and an expansion of the museums devoted to Elvis Presley. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "36 Hours in Memphis," 22 Mar. 2018

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

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adaptive

adapt + -ive

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Statistics for adaptive

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adaptive

The first known use of adaptive was in 1760

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More Definitions for adaptive

adaptive

adjective
adap·​tive | \ ə-ˈdap-tiv How to pronounce adaptive (audio) \

Medical Definition of adaptive

1 : capable of, suited to, or contributing to adaptation adaptive traits that enhance survival and diversification of species …Science News, 1 Feb. 1986
2a : used to assist a person with a disability in performing a certain task or activity : assistive Adaptive equipment might include Braille keyboards, voice synthesizers and adjustable-height computer tables.— Stuart Gordon, The Modesto (California) Bee, 15 Dec. 1995
b : engaged in by disabled persons with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for a disability It is called wheelchair basketball, an adaptive sport for disabled people … — James Nix, The Independent Tribune (Concord, North Carolina), 17 Feb. 2010
c : participating in a sport with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for a disability Ever seen those inspirational adaptive skiers cranking down the mountain in their ski chairs, or with a blind skier guide?— Moira McCarthy, The Boston Herald, 10 Jan. 2007

Other Words from adaptive

adaptively adverb
adaptiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on adaptive

Britannica English: Translation of adaptive for Arabic Speakers

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