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[uh-sim-uh-ley-shuh n] /əˌsɪm əˈleɪ ʃən/
the act or process of assimilating, or of absorbing information, experiences, etc.:
the need for quick assimilation of the facts.
the state or condition of being assimilated, or of being absorbed into something.
the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture of a group or nation, or the state of being so adapted:
assimilation of immigrants into American life.
Physiology. the conversion of absorbed food into the substance of the body.
Botany. the total process of plant nutrition, including photosynthesis and the absorption of raw materials.
Sociology. the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups, not involving biological amalgamation.
Phonetics. the act or process by which a sound becomes identical with or similar to a neighboring sound in one or more defining characteristics, as place of articulation, voice or voicelessness, or manner of articulation, as in
[gram-pah] /ˈgræm pɑ/ (Show IPA)
for grandpa.
Compare dissimilation (def 2).
Origin of assimilation
1595-1605; < Latin assimilātiōn- (stem of assimilātiō). See assimilate, -ion
Related forms
antiassimilation, noun, adjective
nonassimilation, noun
reassimilation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for assimilation
  • For him, and for a generation of immigrants like him, an automobile was a symbol of assimilation and success.
  • Like humans, the plants suffered but survived an assimilation process in the new environment.
  • The entertainment industry has infiltrated everything, and artists have been part of this general kind of assimilation.
  • His influence and works aided the assimilation.
  • It is a documentary of assimilation and of a return to one's roots.
  • Themes of assimilation, racism and immigration prevail, and the selections are of uniform high quality.
  • He was a leader in the movement for cultural assimilation.
  • Millions of foreigners were received into the country, with little or no thought given to their assimilation.
  • The immigrants' story was told not through their own cultures but through their assimilation into the mainstream.
Word Origin and History for assimilation

early 15c., "act of assimilating," from Old French assimilacion, from Latin assimilationem (nominative assimilatio) "likeness, similarity," noun of action from past participle stem of assimilare (see assimilate). Psychological sense is from 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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assimilation in Medicine

assimilation as·sim·i·la·tion (ə-sĭm'ə-lā'shən)

  1. The incorporation of digested substances from food into the tissues of an organism.

  2. The amalgamation and modification of newly perceived information and experiences into the existing cognitive structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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assimilation in Science
The conversion of nutrients into living tissue; constructive metabolism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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assimilation in Culture

assimilation definition

The process by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group: “Waves of immigrants have been assimilated into the American culture.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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