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 Jaden Michael will play Kaepernick, while Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman are set to portray his adoptive mother and father. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "20 things to look forward to from the world of pop culture in 2021," 1 Jan. 2021 The issue came to light in October, when an adoptive mother doing an internet search for the child's birth mother came across the report listing the child by name. Arizona Republic, "DCS says law prevents from hiding kid's names in past reports, looking for a workaround," 13 Dec. 2020 Her adoptive parents, Lloyd R. Pashong, a custodian in the Des Moines public schools, and his wife, Margaret May Smith, named her Patricia Louise Pashong. New York Times, "Paige Rense, Trendsetting Editor of Architectural Digest, Dies at 91," 2 Jan. 2021 Jaden Michael will play Colin, Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman will play his adoptive parents. Matthew Gilbert,, "The ones to watch in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 That way, there’s less competition and more specific support for the prospective adoptive parents., "We Adopted Our Daughter 8 Years After An Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis," 22 Dec. 2020 Steven Arauz was viewed as a model foster and adoptive parent, a single dad who gave talks to foster-parenting classes and urged others at his Seventh-day Adventist church to help needy children, too. Kate Santich,, "Gay teacher fired from Adventist school in Longwood that accepts state scholarships," 16 Apr. 2018 The Florida man defined himself by his Midwestern upbringing and the values instilled by his adoptive parents. USA Today, "‘You love this country, and it’s taken from you’: Adoption doesn’t guarantee US citizenship," 16 Dec. 2020 The women also had hardly any prenatal care, another fact withheld from the adoptive parents. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, "Former Arizona official sentenced to prison for running an illegal adoption scheme: ‘A baby-selling enterprise’," 2 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for adoptive

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

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Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adoptive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for adoptive


How to pronounce adoptive (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adoptive

Nglish: Translation of adoptive for Spanish Speakers

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