adop·​tive | \ ə-ˈdäp-tiv How to pronounce adoptive (audio) \

Definition of adoptive

1 : made or acquired by adoption the adoptive father
2 : of or relating to adoption

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Other Words from adoptive

adoptively adverb

Examples of adoptive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Next door, Annabelle Higgins — who has joined a satanic cult since the events of Creation — murders her adoptive parents with her boyfriend. Daniel Menegaz,, "Tracking Annabelle's confusing journey through the Conjuring universe," 27 June 2019 The girl was sassy and articulate and talked animatedly about the lessons her adoptive mother had taught her about Islam. Washington Post, "The kidnapped Yazidi children who don’t want to be rescued from ISIS," 14 June 2019 The young woman was first reported missing by her adoptive mother on Dec. 26. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Aurora woman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend had reported prior alleged domestic violence to police," 13 June 2019 The highest-profile advocate is Elizabeth Bartholet, an adoptive mother of two children from Peru and a professor at Harvard Law School. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "Destined for Export," 10 June 2019 Sir Reginald Hargreeves is the adoptive father of The Umbrella Academy. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast of "The Umbrella Academy" and Their Characters," 26 Feb. 2019 Not long after, Marquis’ adoptive mom (a white woman) shows up and immediately gets him out. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Hooded,’ a play, examines black identity and ever-present racism," 6 Mar. 2018 Cruz had been living with the family of a student at the school since his adoptive mom passed away in November. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Everything We Know About the Florida Shooting Suspect," 15 Feb. 2018 First, all are ethnically Chinese: This is worth noting, given that many occupants of berths on the literal last boat with Bing were foreigners or, like her adoptive sister’s son, Eurasians. Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, WSJ, "‘Last Boat Out of Shanghai’ Review: Gone With the Wind," 18 Jan. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adoptive

Middle English adoptif, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French adoptif, going back to Old French, borrowed from Latin adoptīvus, from adoptāre "to adopt" + -īvus -ive

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Statistics for adoptive

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for adoptive

The first known use of adoptive was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for adoptive



English Language Learners Definition of adoptive

used to describe a parent who has adopted a child


adop·​tive | \ ə-ˈdäp-tiv How to pronounce adoptive (audio) \

Legal Definition of adoptive

1a : having adopted an adoptive parent
b : having been adopted an adoptive child
2 : made or acquired by accepting as one's own the words or actions of another to constitute an adoptive admission…defendant must actually understand what was said and have an opportunity to deny itUnited States v. White, 766 F. Supp. 873 (1991)

More from Merriam-Webster on adoptive

Spanish Central: Translation of adoptive

Nglish: Translation of adoptive for Spanish Speakers

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