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

And on the cart, there are three more levels of adjustment: a lever arm on the cart, a voice coil (like a speaker driver) on the lever arm, and a tiny, expanding piezoelectric crystal on the voice coil. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Building the world’s highest-resolution telescope," 9 July 2018 Lieber said, with the opening of the new school campus for grades 6-12 scheduled to open on Butternut Ridge Road later this year, some adjustments will be made to traffic signals. John Benson,, "North Olmsted City School District hosts parent drug awareness and prevention program," 14 May 2018 Some involved adjustments in salaries, workers compensation and medical premium expenses, totaling less than $135,000. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Bel Air approves contracts for parking garage striping, Armory security upgrades," 22 June 2018 The adjustments ranged from the positioning of his hands to the width of his feet to the curvature of his spine. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers gave Max Muncy a second chance, and he's making the most of it," 14 June 2018 Another quality adjustment for Steve Kerr’s coaching ledger. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals: Warriors Survive Superman’s Best Punch in Game 1," 1 June 2018 This is not the first time churches have made adjustments to the Eucharist for their members. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "South Carolina churches to offer gluten-free Communion bread," 18 Sep. 2018 The brand will use these insights to make adjustments to the BOOK by Cadillac strategy moving forward. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Cadillac’s $1,800 a month car subscription service is shutting down — for now," 2 Nov. 2018 The adjustment period should be between one and three years. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Maritime Regulator Faces Growing Calls for a Gradual Rollout of Clean-Fuel Rules," 22 Oct. 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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Statistics for adjustment

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

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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