adaptive

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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, Philly.com, "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 The adaptive self-leveling headlights are designed to move slightly in the same direction as the vehicle to provide illumination of the area into which the car is turning. star-telegram, "Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury SUV brings elegance, technology to the family hauler," 30 June 2018 Clemons’ approach to the current sociopolitical climate is equally adaptive. Henna Koskinen, Glamour, "Kiersey Clemons: There Is No One Way to Be an Activist," 11 June 2018 The brand itself is adaptive and hopefully innovative. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Chicago's Dark Matter Coffee sets up shop in Hazel Park," 15 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of adaptive

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adaptive

adapt + -ive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adaptive

Statistics for adaptive

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adaptive

The first known use of adaptive was in 1760

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adaptive

adaptive

adjective
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

Comments on adaptive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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