mal·​adap·​tive | \-tiv \

Definition of maladaptive 

1 : marked by poor or inadequate adaptation

2 : not conducive to adaptation

Examples of maladaptive in a Sentence

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Complicated grief can be defined as a more persistent form of intense grief in which maladaptive thoughts and dysfunctional behaviors emerge, along with continued yearning and sadness or preoccupation with thoughts of the person who died. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "A name for grief that goes on and on," 16 May 2018 The other interesting finding was a link between the use the maladaptive coping and the probability that a runner would finish the race. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Why It Matters How You Think About Pain," 10 Apr. 2018 These maladaptive neurological changes can persist long after the alcohol use stops. Jamie Smolen,, "How to know when holiday drinking is hurting your brain," 23 Dec. 2017 These behaviors are believed to be maladaptive mechanisms for dealing with the psychological suffering that comes from isolation. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, "Solitary Confinement Is a Great American Shame," 10 Feb. 2017 What looks to us like a maladaptive state might be the best of many bad options. National Geographic, "Why Crested Penguins Always Lay Doomed Eggs," 4 Oct. 2016 What looks to us like a maladaptive state might be the best of many bad options. National Geographic, "Why Crested Penguins Always Lay Doomed Eggs," 4 Oct. 2016 Today this form of punishment can easily become abuse, and is a maladaptive habit that most black folk inherited. Richael Faithful, The Root, "We Need More Than Self-Care; We Need Healing, Too," 25 May 2017 A possible maladaptive behavior according to Joyce, this loud trumpeting has the adverse effect of attracting passerby males. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Why This Male Elephant Attacked a Newborn Calf," 2 May 2017

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.

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maladaptive

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Britannica English: Translation of maladaptive for Arabic Speakers

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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