adapt

verb
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) , a- \
adapted; adapting; adapts

Essential Meaning of adapt

1 : to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation When children go to a different school, it usually takes them a while to adapt. She has adapted herself to college life quite easily.
2 : to change (something) so that it functions better or is better suited for a purpose The teachers adapted [=modified] the curriculum so that students of all abilities will benefit from it. The camera has been adapted for underwater use. The clock was adapted to run on batteries.
3 : to change (a movie, book, play, etc.) so that it can be presented in another form He adapted the novel for the stage. [=he rewrote the novel as a play] The movie was adapted from the book of the same title. adapting the movie for television

Full Definition of adapt

transitive verb

: to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification adapt the curriculum to students' needs

intransitive verb

: to become adapted adapt to a new environment

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Choose the Right Synonym for adapt

adapt, adjust, accommodate, conform, reconcile mean to bring one thing into correspondence with another. adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances. adapted themselves to the warmer climate adjust suggests bringing into a close and exact correspondence or harmony such as exists between parts of a mechanism. adjusted the budget to allow for inflation accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to effect a correspondence. businesses accommodating themselves to the new political reality conform applies to bringing into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle. refused to conform to society's values reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible. tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew

Did you know?

Rooted in the origins of "adapt" is the idea of becoming specifically "fit" for something. English speakers adapted "adapt" in the 15th century from the French adapter, which itself traces to the Latin forms aptare, meaning "to fit," and aptus, meaning "fit" or "apt." Other descendants of "aptus" in English include "aptitude," "inept," and of course "apt" itself, as well as "unapt" and "inapt."

Examples of adapt in a Sentence

When children go to a different school, it usually takes them a while to adapt. She has adapted herself to college life quite easily. The camera has been adapted for underwater use. The clock was adapted to run on batteries. The movie was adapted from the book of the same title. adapting the movie for television
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Recent Examples on the Web Photographers need bags or backpacks that can adapt to whatever the situation calls for. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Donath says that technological advancements will adapt to this new era of vocal communications. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, 30 Sep. 2021 Beginners looking for plants should go for something that's relatively hardy and can adapt to different environments and water types. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 22 Sep. 2021 Experts counter that if children with vision and hearing impairments can adapt, so can other kids. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2021 The attention creates the need so that the service or product can then adapt to the audience. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 15 Sep. 2021 With an emphasis on versatility, Maje was created for the easygoing Parisian woman who demands a wardrobe that can adapt to their ever-evolving lifestyle. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, 7 Sep. 2021 But Zimmerman hopes to pilot a model other events can then adapt. New York Times, 26 Aug. 2021 And key to it was Watts’ flawless rhythm, which worked equally well on dancefloors and arena floors — and showed that a true master can adapt to any musical context. Jem Aswad, Variety, 24 Aug. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for adapt

Middle English adapted (as translation of Latin adaptātus), borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French adapter, borrowed from Latin adaptāre, from ad- ad- + aptāre "to put into position, bring to bear, make ready," verbal derivative of aptus "fastened, prepared, suitable" — more at apt entry 1

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Time Traveler for adapt

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near adapt

Adapis

adapt

adaptable

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adapt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adapt. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for adapt

adapt

verb
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) \
adapted; adapting

Kids Definition of adapt

1 : to change behavior so that it is easier to function in a particular place or situation He easily adapted to high school.
2 : to make or become suitable or able to function The camera was adapted for underwater use.

adapt

transitive verb
\ ə-ˈdapt How to pronounce adapt (audio) \

Medical Definition of adapt

: to make fit (as for a specific or new use or situation) often by modification adapted himself to the new position

intransitive verb

: to become adapted : undergo adaptation

More from Merriam-Webster on adapt

Nglish: Translation of adapt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adapt for Arabic Speakers

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