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[uh-dapt] /əˈdæpt/
verb (used with object)
to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly:
They adapted themselves to the change quickly. He adapted the novel for movies.
verb (used without object)
to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc.:
to adapt easily to all circumstances.
Origin of adapt
1605-15; < Latin adaptāre to fit, adjust, perhaps via French adapter. See ad-, apt
Related forms
adaptedness, noun
misadapt, verb
nonadapting, adjective
readapt, verb (used with object)
unadapted, adjective
well-adapted, adjective
Can be confused
adapt, adept, adopt.
1. fit, accommodate, suit, reconcile, conform; modify, rework, convert. See adjust. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for adapt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This condition will soon be remedied as the rings become polished and adapt themselves to the contour of the cylinder.

    Aviation Engines Victor Wilfred Pag
  • She had changed her methods suddenly, and he had had no time to adapt himself to them.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Marriage is such a risk, Ethel, but to marry without the courage to adapt oneself.

    The Man Between Amelia E. Barr
  • There are also men who adapt themselves passively and are easily molded.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Precisely what a species through thousands of generations of selection and survival might adapt itself to, is an open question.

    Mars and its Mystery Edward Sylvester Morse
British Dictionary definitions for adapt


(often foll by to) to adjust (someone or something, esp oneself) to different conditions, a new environment, etc
(transitive) to fit, change, or modify to suit a new or different purpose: to adapt a play for use in schools
Derived Forms
adaptable, adjective
adaptability, adaptableness, noun
adaptive, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin adaptāre, from ad- to + aptāre to fit, from aptusapt
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 adapt

early 15c. (implied in adapted) "to fit (something, for some purpose)," from Middle French adapter (14c.), from Latin adaptare "adjust," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + aptare "join," from aptus "fitted" (see apt). Meaning "to undergo modification so as to fit new circumstances" (intransitive) is from 1956. Related: Adapting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adapt in Technology

A subset of APT.
[Sammet 1969, p. 606].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for adapt


American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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