adap·​tive | \ə-ˈdap-tiv, 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 \ noun

Examples of adaptive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The suspension is a double-wishbone arrangement with adaptive air suspension at each corner. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Porsche’s Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is a heck of a hybrid," 16 May 2018 Lincoln also promises to launch on the production SUV the phone-as-the-key technology that’s featured on the concept, as well as adaptive-suspension technology that—similar to systems from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi—can scan the road ahead. Car and Driver, "Lincoln Aviator Concept," 29 Mar. 2018 The shirt and shorts are made using Puma's evoKNIT thermoregulation technology - an adaptive cooling system with enhanced moisture management - helping to find the perfect temperature on the pitch for any wearer., "PHOTO: Arsenal Launch Official Puma Away Kit Ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League Season," 7 June 2018 Nissan pushes further into the semi-autonomous driving space with its ProPilot Assist, an adaptive cruise and lane control program that will be available in the U.S. later this year on the new version of the Japanese automaker's all-electric Leaf. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Your next car may be safer than you think. Thanks, autonomy.," 17 May 2018 But neither offers inspired handling and performance, and definitely test out the adaptive cruise before buying a Toyota. Scott Sturgis,, "Toyota's RAV4 small crossover stays the course," 6 Jan. 2018 For decades, Denver’s first historic district has been a vital commercial area and a national model for the potential of adaptive reuse and historic preservation. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "National Trust’s List of 11 Most Endangered Places includes Route 66, Mount Vernon," 26 June 2018 USA Women's Sled Hockey goalie Gabby Graves-Wake talks on her recovery and perseverance through adaptive sports. Atreya Verma, azcentral, "Arizona Marine veteran Gabby Graves-Wake finds victory in adaptive sports after accident," 4 July 2018 The suspension is also adaptive, using McLaren’s active hydraulic system. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 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

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for adaptive

The first known use of adaptive was in 1760

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More Definitions for adaptive


adap·​tive | \ə-ˈdap-tiv \

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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