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 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.
  • noun Same as immunization.

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.


  • 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

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

    The Scientific Monthly, October-December 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

  • 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

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


  • 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

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

    Our Parliament, Its Organization and Work

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

    Naturejobs - All Jobs

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


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



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