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adapter

[uh-dap-ter] /əˈdæp tər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that adapts.
2.
  1. a connector for joining parts or devices having different sizes, designs, etc., enabling them to be fitted or to work together.
  2. Also called plug adapter, adapter plug. a device that connects an electrical plug to an outlet that has a different plug shape:
    Last time I traveled, I brought the wrong adapter.
  3. Also called AC adapter, power adapter. a device with a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet and functions as an external power supply for a small or portable electronic device, usually converting AC current to DC:
    I forgot to plug in the adapter, and my laptop died.
3.
an accessory to convert a machine, tool, or part to a new or modified use.
4.
Computers.
  1. expansion card.
  2. an external device containing the necessary circuitry to connect to or work with another device or system:
    a network adapter; a wireless adapter; a video adapter.
Also, adaptor.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; adapt + -er1
Related forms
nonadapter, nonadaptor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for adaptor
  • Petri dishes containing each sample were clipped onto the end of the adaptor and magnified by the lenses.
  • Where you have that, you either need a standard or you need some kind of adaptor to make the connections possible.
British Dictionary definitions for adaptor

adaptor

/əˈdæptə/
noun
1.
a person or thing that adapts
2.
any device for connecting two parts, esp ones that are of different sizes or have different mating fitments
3.
  1. a plug used to connect an electrical device to a mains supply when they have different types of terminals
  2. a device used to connect several electrical appliances to a single mains socket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adaptor

adapter

n.

1801, agent noun from adapt. Electrical engineering sense from 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adaptor in Medicine

adapter a·dapt·er or a·dap·tor (ə-dāp'tər)
n.

  1. One that adapts.

  2. A connecting part that joins two pieces of apparatus.

  3. A converter of electric current to a desired form.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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adaptor in Technology
tool
(Automatic DAta Parallelism TranslatOR) A source to source transformation tool that transforms data parallel programs written in Fortran 77 with array extensions, parallel loops, and layout directives to parallel programs with explicit message passing. ADAPTOR generates Fortran 77 host and node programs with message passing. The new generated source codes have to be compiled by the compiler of the parallel computer.
Version 1.0 runs on CM-5, iPCS/860, Meiko CS1/CS2, KSR 1, SGI, Alliant or a network of Suns or RS/6000s.
(ftp://ftp.gmd.de/gmd/adaptor/adp_1.0.tar.Z).
[Connection with Thomas Brandes and GMD?]
(1993-06-01)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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