mal·​adap·​tive ˌma-lə-ˈdap-tiv How to pronounce maladaptive (audio)
: marked by poor or inadequate adaptation
: not conducive to adaptation

Examples of maladaptive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These behaviors, along with maladaptive beliefs, greatly affect the personal, social, and work lives of people with NPD.1 11 Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder 1. Catherine Dibenedetto, Health, 19 Mar. 2024 Researchers believe that kleptomania may be a maladaptive response to a depressive mood state and the feelings of guilt and shame that follow instances of compulsive stealing can intensify these feelings of depression. Mark Travers, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 If left unchecked, these maladaptive thought patterns can lead to debilitating levels of burnout and stress. Mark Travers, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 While evolution by natural selection plays a critical role, historical contingency also leaves its imprint, establishing features that may be suboptimal or even maladaptive. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2023 Their hunger persists as maladaptive coping mechanisms cannot be satisfied. Hazlitt, 27 Sep. 2023 This maladaptive coping strategy can lead to less offline interactions, which could affect one’s ability to cope with real world issues and lead to more problems with isolation, loneliness and worsened depression. Brittany Edelmann, Discover Magazine, 27 Oct. 2022 According to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, maladaptive perfectionism has strong correlations with academic burnout. Mark Travers, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 Clinical narcissism protects the ego using maladaptive coping strategies. Patricia Fersch, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of maladaptive was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near maladaptive

Cite this Entry

“Maladaptive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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