ad·​just | \ə-ˈjəst \
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 \-​ˌjəs-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
adjustable \-​ˈjəs-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
adjustive \-​ˈjəs-​tiv \ 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. accommodated his political beliefs in order to win 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

The fit here can’t be adjusted as much as traditional over-ear headphones. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 Like many shredded memory foam pillows, the fill in each can be adjusted to suit a wide range of different sleepers. Don Melanson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Find the Perfect Pillow and Finally Get a Good Night's Sleep," 3 Oct. 2018 Digital screens mounted on the insides of the door provide the driver with a view that can be enhanced at night, and the field of vision can be adjusted as needed. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Don't look back: Lexus launching first digital side view mirrors," 12 Sep. 2018 Should a minimum wage be put into effect, though, fares may be adjusted—so stay tuned. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York City May Cap Uber and Lyft Rides," 27 July 2018 The researchers had to adjust the details for each of the three patients in the study, adapting to the individual measurements of each person’s spinal cord. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Spinal-cord stimulation allows three paralyzed men to walk with assistance," 31 Oct. 2018 Under federal law, companies do not necessarily have to adjust pregnant women’s jobs, even when lighter work is available and their doctors send letters urging a reprieve. Natalie Kitroeff, The Seattle Times, "Miscarrying at work: the physical toll of pregnancy discrimination," 26 Oct. 2018 Moms and dads can adjust its height, convert its setup into a series of positions, and even reverse the seat to face in or out. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Here's Where to Buy the Super-Popular Stroller Joanna Gaines Uses for Baby Crew," 21 Oct. 2018 Wong’s lab has developed a smart CAR-T called the Split Universal and Programmable (SUPRA) CAR system, which homes in on multiple cancer biomarkers and adjusts the strength of the immune response to the patient’s degree of cancer. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for adjust

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adjust

The first known use of adjust was in 1611

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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 \
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 \

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 \ noun plural adjustabilities
adjustable \-​ˈjəs-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
adjustive \-​ˈjəs-​tiv \ 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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More from Merriam-Webster on adjust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adjust

Spanish Central: Translation of adjust

Nglish: Translation of adjust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adjust for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adjust

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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