adopt

verb
\ ə-ˈdäpt How to pronounce adopt (audio) \
adopted; adopting; adopts

Definition of adopt

transitive verb

1 : to take by choice into a relationship especially : to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child
2 : to take up and practice or use adopted a moderate tone
3 : to accept formally and put into effect adopt a constitutional amendment
4 : to choose (a textbook) for required study in a course
5 : to sponsor the care and maintenance of adopt a highway

intransitive verb

: to adopt a child couples choosing to adopt

Other Words from adopt

adoptability \ ə-​ˌdäp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce adopt (audio) \ noun
adoptable \ ə-​ˈdäp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce adopt (audio) \ adjective
adopter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adopt

adopt, embrace, espouse mean to take an opinion, policy, or practice as one's own. adopt implies accepting something created by another or foreign to one's nature. forced to adopt new policies embrace implies a ready or happy acceptance. embraced the customs of their new homeland espouse adds an implication of close attachment to a cause and a sharing of its fortunes. espoused the cause of women's rights

Examples of adopt in a Sentence

They were unable to have children of their own, so they decided to adopt. They decided to adopt a child. He was adopted as an infant. Did he adopt your point of view? We adopted some of the local customs. The author Samuel Clemens adopted the name “Mark Twain.” He was born in England but he has adopted Canada as his home. The assembly adopted a new constitution. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Senate.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Anyone wanting to adopt a letter must register and verify their identity before being able to access the letters uploaded to the website. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2021 The commission plans to adopt a final map for each type of district the last week in December. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 24 Nov. 2021 Moynihan, also chair of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, has been working for over a year now to convince companies to adopt a standardized set of stakeholder metrics for ESG. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2021 While the Currys said their faith informs their decisions, Elizabeth doesn’t think she and Jud were called to adopt. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, 23 Nov. 2021 The researchers urged executives to adopt an aggressive overhaul of its software system that would primarily remove only those hateful posts before any Facebook users could see it. Elizabeth Dwoskin, Nitasha Tiku And Craig Timberg, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2021 The United States has been slow to adopt modern roundabouts, though that is changing somewhat. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2021 The researchers urged executives to adopt an aggressive overhaul of its software system that would primarily remove only those hateful posts before any Facebook users could see it. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 Europe's largest automaker is preparing to adopt new rules that only allow access to factories and offices for people who are vaccinated, tested or have recovered from a covid infection. Arkansas Online, 19 Nov. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of adopt

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for adopt

Middle English adopten, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French adopter, borrowed from Latin adoptāre, from ad- ad- + optāre "to express a wish for, desire, choose, decide on" — more at option entry 1

Learn More About adopt

Time Traveler for adopt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near adopt

adoors

adopt

adopted

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for adopt

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adopt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adopt. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for adopt

adopt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of adopt

: to take a child of other parents legally as your own child
: to begin to use or have (a different manner, method, etc.)
: to begin to use (a name that is not your real or original name)

adopt

verb
\ ə-ˈdäpt How to pronounce adopt (audio) \
adopted; adopting

Kids Definition of adopt

1 : to legally take a child of other parents to raise
2 : to take up as someone's own After moving to Quebec, he adopted French as his language.
3 : to accept and put into action The state adopted a law requiring drivers to wear seat belts.

adopt

transitive verb
\ ə-ˈdäpt How to pronounce adopt (audio) \

Legal Definition of adopt

1 : to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child especially in compliance with formal legal procedures — see also equitable adoption
2 : to take or accept as if one's own [the company] adopted the signature on the financing statementBarber-Greene Co. v. Nat'l City Bank of Minneapolis, 816 F.2d 1267 (1987)
3 : to accept formally and put into effect adopt a constitutional amendment

Other Words from adopt

adoptable \ ə-​ˈdäp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce adopt (audio) \ adjective
adoptability \ ə-​ˌdäp-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ adverb
adoption \ ə-​ˈdäp-​shən How to pronounce adopt (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on adopt

Nglish: Translation of adopt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adopt for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!