from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Characteristic of or having to do with adoption.
  • adjective Related by adoption.
  • adjective Being a place that one has moved to or resettled in.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Fitted for or given to adopting: as, a receptive and adoptive language. Constituted by adoption; adopting or adopted: as, an adoptive father or son. Assumed: as, “adoptive and cheerful boldness,” Milton, Ref. in Eng., i.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pertaining to adoption; made or acquired by adoption; fitted to adopt

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Related through adoption; more generally, relating to adoption.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective acquired as your own by free choice
  • adjective of parents and children; related by adoption


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • As Philolaus gave them laws concerning many other things, so did he upon adoption, which they call adoptive laws; and this he in particular did to preserve the number of families.

    Politics: A Treatise on Government 384 BC-322 BC Aristotle

  • But, as the mere fact of the unction does not effect a radical unification (for this schools rejects absorption), the unification is made perfect, according to them, by what they call the adoptive birth of Christ -- the ultimate result of the unction of the Father.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5: Diocese-Fathers of Mercy 1840-1916 1913

  • Second, if Diamond was correct then forager children raised in adoptive Western homes should become as smart as or, indeed, smarter than their white siblings.

    Is Economic Growth Genetic?, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

  • * Absent or divorced parents; inadequate bonding in adoptive families

    Stress, Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicide 2006

  • The concept by which state and local law enforcement agencies still circumvent the Missouri Constitution is known as "adoptive forfeiture."

    Wired Top Stories Spencer Ackerman 2011

  • In short-term adoptive transfer experiments S1P1-deficient mature B cells accumulated in the BM, but a role for S1P1 in egress was not established

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles João Pedro Pereira et al. 2010

  • Danny picked up the phone and called their adoptive mother, June, on her cell phone, and told her what happened.

    The Three Furies Kaza Kingsley 2010

  • "We call adoptive him who is stranger to the adopter."

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize 1840-1916 1913

  • Kalos said past efforts to use the technique, known as "adoptive T-cell transfer," failed either because the T-cell response was too weak or proved too toxic for normal tissue.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion 2011

  • "As we speak, my officials are calling adoptive parents as we identify which children are on the flight," Kenney said Saturday.

    Ottawa Sun 2010


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