mal·​adap·​tive | \ ˌma-lə-ˈdap-tiv How to pronounce maladaptive (audio) \

Definition of maladaptive

1 : marked by poor or inadequate adaptation
2 : not conducive to adaptation

Examples of maladaptive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Americans with Down syndrome have lower rates of cocaine use and ADHD, and some ADHD diagnoses might be more accurately classified as maladaptive daydreaming. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 Psychedelic therapy enabled me to see maladaptive patterns that had formed since childhood, and in combination with talk therapy, enabled me to change them. Louis Metzger Iv, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 This worked well for our evolutionary predecessors, but what was once adaptive is now often maladaptive. Tomas Chamorro-premuzic, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The condition stems from a maladaptive inflammatory response to a systemic infection, which causes blood clots to form throughout the body, blood vessels in the skin to collapse, and tissue to die. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 28 Feb. 2022 Taking pleasure in negative emotions might seem morally suspect or maladaptive, a case of pointless narcissism. Charlie Tyson, The Atlantic, 30 Jan. 2022 Walker really has the ability to toggle back and forth between hiding behind maladaptive coping mechanisms of humor while also being able to suddenly become very emotional, real and vulnerable in these scenes. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2022 Remain vigilant about cultural, political, and financial changes that could turn beneficial habits into maladaptive ones. Kotter, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Psychologists distinguish two types of perfectionism: adaptive and maladaptive. Matt Fitzgerald, Outside Online, 18 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maladaptive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of maladaptive

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of maladaptive was in 1931

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maladaptive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on maladaptive

Nglish: Translation of maladaptive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maladaptive for Arabic Speakers


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