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 specifc 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 devicesb : engaged in by disabled persons with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for a disability adaptive skiingc : participating in a sport with the aid of equipment or techniques adapted for disability an adaptive skier
adaptivityplay \ˌa-ˌdap-ˈti-və-tē\ noun
Recent Examples of adaptive from the Web
A good model is São Paulo, where teachers have welcomed Geekie, an adaptive-software company, into public schools.
For instance, more than 30 intersections on Mercer Street — where crews installed new, adaptive traffic lights this spring — do not flash walk signs unless people call for them with the buttons.
The adaptive suspension can be softened for commuting.
Audi has used the niches to install radar units for driver-assistance technology like adaptive cruise control.
The Big Sick thus offers new ways of envisioning parental relationships—especially those that many Asian Americans navigate—in all their relatably messy, adaptive glory.
All five properties are adaptive uses of old buildings.
Problematic features such as adaptive cruise controls and lane departure warnings are some of the tools that will be key to developing autonomous vehicles.
Fuller and Green deepened the importance of Laura and Mad Sweeney’s relationship via a few more adaptive departures.
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.
First Known Use of adaptive
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. 1995b: 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. 2010c: 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
Learn More about adaptive
Britannica English: Translation of adaptive for Arabic speakers
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up adaptive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).