tr.v. a·dopt·ed, a·dopt·ing, a·dopts
1. To take on the legal responsibilities as parent of (a child that is not one's biological child).
2. To become the owner or caretaker of (a pet, especially one from a shelter).
a. To take and follow (a course of action, for example) by choice or assent: adopt a new technique.
b. To take up and make one's own: adopt a new idea.
4. To move to or resettle in (a place).
5. To take on or assume: adopted an air of importance.
6. To vote to accept: adopt a resolution.
7. To choose as standard or required in a course: adopt a new line of English textbooks.
[Middle English adopten, from Old French adopter, from Latin adoptāre : ad-, ad- + optāre, to choose.]
Usage Note: Children are adopted by parents, and we normally refer to an adopted child but to adoptive parents, families, and homes. When describing places, one can use either adopted or adoptive: her adopted city; her adoptive city.
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:
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