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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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Word Origin and History for ac-adapter

adapter

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ac-adapter 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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