ad·​just·​ment | \ə-ˈjəs(t)-mənt \
plural adjustments

Definition of adjustment 

1 : the act or process of adjusting

2 : a settlement of a claim or debt in a case in which the amount involved is uncertain or full payment is not made

3 : the state of being adjusted

4 : a means (such as a mechanism) by which things are adjusted one to another

5 : a correction or modification to reflect actual conditions

6 chiropractic : the manual or mechanical manipulation of a joint (especially the spine) in which a controlled force is applied to the joint A click of the instrument allows the practitioner to provide a quick and precise thrust to the spine, making the adjustment before the patient's muscular reflex can tense the body and interfere with the manipulation.Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing

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Other Words from adjustment

adjustmental \ə-​ˌjəs(t)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl, ˌa-​ˌjəs(t)-​ \ adjective

Examples of adjustment in a Sentence

The engine only needed a minor adjustment. She made some slight adjustments to the recipe. The engine only needed minor adjustment. Moving from the city to the country requires an adjustment. We went through a period of adjustment at the new school. The figures were calculated with no adjustments for inflation. The figures were calculated with no adjustment for inflation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For a cute-not-creepy take on the trend, Annie Thompson, the blogger behind DIY Decor Mom, made some adjustments to the popular PVC pipe spider. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Give Your Neighbors the Creeps With Oversized Spider Halloween Decor," 5 Oct. 2018 Frequent asthma exacerbations could be a sign that your treatment plan needs tweaking, Dr. Casciari says, and making some adjustments should help get things under control. Korin Miller, SELF, "What’s an Asthma Exacerbation? (Because It Sounds Really Scary.)," 11 July 2018 Expect Bobby Petrino and Brian VanGorder to make some serious adjustments this time around. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Boston College," 8 July 2018 Despite Carlson's seemingly amicable regress, and her costars' continued support, Estes admits the adjustment wasn't easy. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Star Will Estes Opens Up About Amy Carlson's 'Shocking' Exit," 6 Oct. 2018 Staffing adjustments are a regular occurrence for the district, but in past years the district has had enough funds to prevent displacements. Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times, "100 Seattle students protest teacher displacement at City Hall," 25 Sep. 2018 Machine learning algorithms allow these 3D printers make adjustments on their own to match the material qualities the military is looking for. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How Putting A.I. Brains Into 3D Printers Will Change the Game for the Navy," 1 Oct. 2018 Risk-adjustment payments are drawn from insurers and go to other insurers. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "Trump Administration to Resume ‘Risk Adjustment’ Payments to Insurers," 24 July 2018 This is an IPS panel, and the stand allows for height, swivel, and tilt adjustments. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Alienware's monster 34-inch curved G-Sync display is $500 off in Dell's 'Black Friday in July' blowout," 12 July 2018

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

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adjustment

borrowed from French ajustement, going back to Middle French adjutement, adjustement, from adjuster "to adjust" + -ment -ment

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Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adjustment

The first known use of adjustment was in 1644

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More Definitions for adjustment



English Language Learners Definition of adjustment

: a small change that improves something or makes it work better

: a change that makes it possible for a person to do better or work better in a new situation

: the act or process of changing or adjusting something (such as a number)


ad·​just·​ment | \ə-ˈjəst-mənt \

Kids Definition of adjustment

1 : a small change that improves something or makes it work better

2 : the act or process of changing or adjusting

3 : the decision about and payment of a claim or debt


ad·​just·​ment | \ə-ˈjəs(t)-mənt \

Medical Definition of adjustment 

1 : the act or process of adjusting: as

a : the process of modifying one's behavior in changed circumstances or an altered environment in order to fulfill psychological, physiological, and social needs

b : a functional and often transitory alteration by which an organism adapts to its immediate environment — compare adaptation sense 2b

2 : a means (as a mechanism) by which things are adjusted one to another adjustments for brightness

3 chiropractic : the manual or mechanical manipulation of a joint (especially of the spine) in which a controlled force is applied to the joint

Other Words from adjustment

adjustmental \ə-​ˌjəs(t)-​ˈment-​ᵊl, ˌaj-​ˌəs(t)-​ \ adjective

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Comments on adjustment

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a nest or breeding place

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