ad·​just | \ ə-ˈjəst How to pronounce adjust (audio) \
adjusted; adjusting; adjusts

Definition of adjust

transitive verb

1a : to bring to a more satisfactory state:
(1) : settle, resolve ways of adjusting conflicts
(2) : rectify adjust an error
b : to make correspondent or conformable : adapt had to adjust our approach
c : to bring the parts of to a true or more effective relative position adjust a carburetor
2 : to reduce to a system : regulate
3 : to determine the amount to be paid under an insurance policy in settlement of (a loss)

intransitive verb

1 : to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions) adjust to the new regulations Our eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness.
2 : to achieve mental and behavioral balance between one's own needs and the demands of others

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Other Words from adjust

adjustability \ ə-​ˌjə-​stə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ noun
adjustable \ ə-​ˈjə-​stə-​bəl How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ adjective
adjustive \ ə-​ˈjə-​stiv How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for adjust

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. businesses accommodating themselves to the new political reality 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

Examples of adjust in a Sentence

The car is easier to drive since the clutch was adjusted. I adjusted the volume on the radio. She adjusted the car seat so she could reach the pedals. Going to a new school can be difficult, but the kids will eventually adjust. It's hard to adjust myself to the idea that she's gone. He makes less money now, when you adjust for inflation, than he did 10 years ago.
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Recent Examples on the Web What workplaces need is a flexible framework that can adjust guidance based on shifting measures of risk. Scott Gottlieb And Caitlin Rivers, WSJ, "Want to Go Back to the Office? Don’t Wait on the CDC," 2 May 2021 If the site is not acidic, use soil or agricultural sulfur to adjust the pH following a soil test recommendation. Tom Maccubbin,, "It’s difficult to determine what hybrid tomato plant seeds will produce," 1 May 2021 His ability to adjust and track the football is as good as anybody in this draft. Brandon Folsom, Detroit Free Press, "ESPN analysts rave over Detroit Lions' Day 3 picks; 'you're going to love' Derrick Barnes," 1 May 2021 Racial justice protesters condemned the song's lyrics in 2020, prompting Churchill Downs to adjust some words of the song and add a moment of silence to its conclusion. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "'My Old Kentucky Home' will play before Kentucky Derby despite backlash," 1 May 2021 Snead may demonstrate a capability to adjust, but some things seem to never change. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Rams' stricken GM provides NFL draft reminder that COVID-19 is still a threat," 1 May 2021 While men were busy scaling ladders to adjust the lighting, Rudman’s brother, Adam Rudman, was at a computer working on upcoming scripts, and two puppeteers were painstakingly building a Carolina blue bird with fuchsia feathers. Darcel Rockett,, "‘Donkey Hodie’ on PBS: Go behind the scenes of new Fred Rogers show with Chicago’s Rudman brothers," 30 Apr. 2021 For a defensive end, Perkins offers a nice anchor and moves laterally well to adjust for the run. Katie Mcinerney,, "Scouting Oklahoma’s Ronnie Perkins, who joins the Patriots with questions — and potential," 30 Apr. 2021 At checkout, customers choose an initial firmness level (medium or firm), but the cover can be unzipped and the layers rotated to adjust the feel based on your changing sleep habits. Jennifer Walker-journey, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 9 Best Organic Mattresses to Shop in 2021, According to Sleep Experts," 30 Apr. 2021

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

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for adjust

borrowed from French ajuster (earlier and Middle French also spelled adjuster), going back to Old French ajouster "to make comply with," from a- (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + -jouster, verbal derivative of juste "right, exact" — more at just entry 1

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Learn More about adjust

Statistics for adjust

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adjust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for adjust



English Language Learners Definition of adjust

: to change (something) in a minor way so that it works better
: to change the position of (something)
: to change in order to work or do better in a new situation


ad·​just | \ ə-ˈjəst How to pronounce adjust (audio) \
adjusted; adjusting

Kids Definition of adjust

1 : to change (something) in a minor way to make it work better
2 : to change the position of (something) He adjusted his glasses.
3 : to become used to He adjusted to a new school.
ad·​just | \ ə-ˈjəst How to pronounce adjust (audio) \

Medical Definition of adjust

: to bring about orientation or adaptation of (oneself)

intransitive verb

1 : to adapt oneself (as to climate, food, or new working hours)
2 : to achieve mental and behavioral balance between one's own needs and the demands of others

Other Words from adjust

adjustability \ -​ˌjəs-​tə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ noun, plural adjustabilities
adjustable \ -​ˈjəs-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ adjective
adjustive \ -​ˈjəs-​tiv How to pronounce adjust (audio) \ adjective

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Legal Definition of adjust

1a : to determine the amount to be paid under an insurance policy in settlement of (a loss)
b : to make new arrangements with creditors for the payment of (the debts of a debtor in bankruptcy)
2 : to calculate in accordance with a system adjusting the basis

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