v. a·dapt·ed, a·dapt·ing, a·dapts
1. To make suitable to or fit for a specific use or situation: adapted the novel into a movie; adapted the company policy to take internet use into account.
2. To cause to be able to survive and reproduce under certain conditions. Used in the passive: “Every species is adapted to a rather restricted selection of properties of the environment” (Ernst Mayr).
1. To change in order to meet the requirements of new circumstances or conditions: The music business had to adapt to digital technology.
2. To become able to survive and reproduce under certain conditions: Hawks have adapted to living in cities.
[Middle English adapten, from Latin adaptāre : ad-, ad- + aptāre, to fit (from aptus, fitting; see APT).]
Synonyms: adapt, accommodate, adjust, conform, fit1
These verbs mean to make suitable to or consistent with a particular situation or use: adapted themselves to city life; can't accommodate myself to the new requirements; adjusting their behavior to the rules; conforming my life to accord with my moral principles; fitting the punishment to the crime.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.