Definition of adapt in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈdapt/


[with object]
1Make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify: hospitals have had to be adapted for modern medical practice the policies can be adapted to suit individual needs and requirements (as adjective adapted) mink are well adapted to hunting prey
More example sentences
  • Individual countries can no longer adapt monetary policy to suit their particular economic situation.
  • An existing in-house induction programme was adapted for the company's overseas staff.
  • In the current investigation, a number of existing measures were adapted for use.
modify, alter, change, adjust, readjust, convert, redesign, restyle, refashion, remodel, reshape, revamp, rework, rejig, redo, reconstruct, reorganize;
customize, tailor;
improve, amend, refine, tweak
1.1 [no object] Become adjusted to new conditions: a large organization can be slow to adapt to change
More example sentences
  • If one is to enjoy any return on the investment, one must be smart, work diligently and adapt to local conditions.
  • They adapt to the conditions here, the climate, the training, the food.
  • It is willing to adapt to new world conditions, and to absorb new technologies and investments.
adjust to, acclimatize oneself to, acclimate to, accommodate oneself to, attune to, conform to, habituate oneself to, become habituated to, get used to, orient oneself in, reconcile oneself to, come to terms with, get one's bearings in, find one's feet in, acculturate to, assimilate to, blend in to, fit in to
1.2Alter (a text) to make it suitable for filming, broadcasting, or the stage: the miniseries was adapted from Wouk’s novel
More example sentences
  • The musical, which wowed the crowds when it visited Bradford last year, is adapted from the 1961 film.
  • The Notebook and The Proof, by Agota Kristof, is a trilogy which has been adapted from novel to stage.
  • As with any film that is adapted from a novel, the movie often does not do the book justice.


Avoid confusing adapt with adopt. Trouble sometimes arises because in adapting to new conditions, an animal or plant can be said to adopt something, such as a new color or behavior pattern.


Late Middle English: from French adapter, from Latin adaptare, from ad- 'to' + aptare (from aptus 'fit').

Words that rhyme with adapt

apt, enrapt, rapt, unmapped, untapped

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·dapt

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