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

  • noun The act or process of adapting.
  • noun The state of being adapted.
  • noun Something, such as a device or mechanism, that is changed or changes so as to become suitable to a new or special application or situation.
  • noun A composition that has been recast into a new form.
  • noun The alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often occurring through natural selection, by which a species or individual becomes better able to function in its environment.
  • noun A structure or habit that results from this process.
  • noun Physiology The responsive adjustment of a sense organ, such as the eye, to varying conditions, such as light intensity.
  • noun Change in behavior of a person or group in response to new or modified surroundings.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as immunization.
  • noun The act of adapting or adjusting; the state of being adapted or fitted; adjustment to circumstances or relations.
  • noun That which is adapted; the result of altering for a different use.
  • noun In biology, advantageous variation in animals or plants under changed conditions; the result of adaptability to, and variability under, external conditions; the operation of external influences upon a variable organism, or a character acquired by the organism as the result of such operation.

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

  • noun The act or process of adapting, or fitting; or the state of being adapted or fitted; fitness.
  • noun The result of adapting; an adapted form.

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

  • noun uncountable The quality of being adapted; adaption; adjustment.
  • noun uncountable Adjustment to extant conditions: as, adjustment of a sense organ to the intensity or quality of stimulation; modification of some thing or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its current environment.
  • noun countable Something which has been adapted; variation.

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

  • noun (physiology) the responsive adjustment of a sense organ (as the eye) to varying conditions (as of light)
  • noun the process of adapting to something (such as environmental conditions)
  • noun a written work (as a novel) that has been recast in a new form


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French adaptation, from Medieval Latin adaptatio, from Latin adaptare; see adapt.


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  • FOR the physicist and chemist the term adaptation awakens but the barren echo of an idea.

    Popular Science Monthly Oct, Nov, Dec, 1915 — Volume 86 Anonymous

  • FOR the physicist and chemist the term adaptation awakens but the barren echo of an idea.

    The Scientific Monthly, October-December 1915 Scientific Monthly 1915

  • At all events the term adaptation includes the idea of utility, and obviously useless contrivances could hardly be brought under the same head.

    Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation Hugo de Vries 1891

  • By the term adaptation, we mean such choice of style, material, size and arrangement as shall fit the structure: 1st, to the site; 2d, to the climate; and 3d, to the uses for which it is built.

    Woodward's Country Homes 1867

  • It has sometimes been suggested that the term adaptation should be reserved for differences with a known genetic basis.

    Sandwalk 2009

  • Next is what he called adaptation, or “resistance,” when the body rises to the challenge and adapts to the stressful conditions.

    The Chemistry of Calm M.D. Henry Emmons 2010

  • I suggest that this adaptation is a matter of urgent public concern, today and always.

    Our Parliament, Its Organization and Work 1955

  • The second module, which we call the adaptation module, is known to maintain the intracellular signal at

    Naturejobs - All Jobs Thomas S Shimizu 2010

  • Indeed, even the term "adaptation" is suspect, in my opinion.

    Crossroads 2009

  • They've learned to do stuff via a specific set of attributes, and when any of those attributes are changed, THEN "adaptation" is required.

    Dog Dave Hingsburger 2007


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