adop·​tion ə-ˈdäp-shən How to pronounce adoption (audio)
plural adoptions
: the act or process of adopting someone or something: such as
: the act or process of adopting a child
couples who are interested in adoption
About three-quarters of private domestic adoptions are now "open," involving some degree of ongoing contact between adoptive parents, adoptees and the birth family …Sydney Trent
: the act or process of adopting an animal as a pet
dogs and cats available for adoption
The global pandemic saw a boom in pet
: the act of beginning to practice or use something
the adoption of new technology
The versatility of the henley shirt can be seen in its early adoption by rowers and how it has been worn since.Emma Fraser
: the act or process of giving official acceptance or approval to something
the adoption of measures to reduce emissions
: the state or condition of being adopted
She is their daughter by adoption.

Examples of adoption in a Sentence

the company wants to speed up its adoption of new technology. Our adoption of local customs has gone slowly. The lawyer has handled countless adoptions. children who are available for adoption the unanimous adoption of the resolution by the Senate
Recent Examples on the Web Tennessee will join North Dakota in the adoption of the bill. Kaylin Blue, CNN, 6 Apr. 2024 Arizona's adoption of a relatively low top tax rate of 2.5% for individuals might encourage more wealthy people to settle, or at least stay, here, said Tony Tanner, a portfolio manager who tracks Arizona's economy with the Aquila Group of Funds. The Arizona Republic, 6 Apr. 2024 Open for adoptions from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Mondays or Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2024 The point was to promote the adoption of alternative-fuel vehicles and help meet environmental goals, said Ronald Ongtoaboc, public information officer for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The rapid adoption was in part a function of AI’s novelty—without initial interest, nothing can catch on. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 4 Apr. 2024 As for the new wave of laws appearing to fuel the rise in American VPN adoption, Jain said debates over one of those laws could eventually make its way up to the Supreme Court. Mack Degeurin, Popular Science, 3 Apr. 2024 In this way, Koenig most resembles Simon, whose music—including its deft (if ballsy) adoption of polyrhythms from sub-Saharan Africa—has always been a major touchstone for the band. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 And for many CFOs, their roles are changing alongside wide adoption of AI. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'adoption.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English adopcioun, borrowed from Anglo-French adopciun, borrowed from Latin adoptiōn-, adoptiō, from ad- ad- + optiōn-, optiō "right to choose, choice, option entry 1"

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of adoption was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near adoption

Cite this Entry

“Adoption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


adop·​tion ə-ˈdäp-shən How to pronounce adoption (audio)
: the act of adopting : the state of being adopted
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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