Definition of assimilate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Take in and understand fully (information or ideas)

    ‘Marie tried to assimilate the week's events’
    • ‘Study questions that will allow the student to assess how well they are assimilating the information are included at the end of each chapter.’
    • ‘Angel needed a few seconds to assimilate the information.’
    • ‘Collecting, analyzing, and assimilating information at this level of detail is a formidable challenge for intelligence analysts, policymakers, and warfighters alike.’
    • ‘The Mexican girl leans back, assimilating this new information.’
    • ‘A motion to adjourn and reconvene in six days so that directors could assimilate the new information was defeated by three votes.’
    • ‘The experts are better able to assimilate information, based on their expectations from the mental model.’
    • ‘Student nurses will benefit from the book's logical flow, which allows readers to assimilate information presented by the content and exhibits in each chapter.’
    • ‘Therefore, after an introduction during staff orientation and some hands-on experience in the first week or two, staff members will have a better context and foundation for assimilating the information.’
    • ‘She and her friends strive to assimilate the vague information provided by their well-meaning but sinister guardians.’
    • ‘My daughter is so rarely ill that she has had to augment her vocabulary at a time when her brain least feels like assimilating information.’
    • ‘It was designed to help general practitioners appraise and assimilate information from scientific publications.’
    • ‘Time, effort, and resources must be devoted in order to locate, gather, and assimilate information.’
    • ‘For example, students are regularly using the Internet to gather and assimilate information for use in research assignments.’
    • ‘The argument that even fifth-grade students, for example, are not ‘ready’ to assimilate psychological information needs to be revisited.’
    • ‘A lot of data from long-term studies need to be analyzed and assimilated to help in the decision-making process.’
    • ‘Children find it easier to assimilate new information when it is presented within the structure of a story.’
    • ‘But people's ability to assimilate information varies.’
    • ‘The committee, which is still working on firming their plans, is now assimilating the information on the alumni and how they plan to contribute to the university.’
    • ‘An audience that senses it is being indoctrinated is more likely to resist assimilating the information.’
    • ‘The mother of four said using games and learning exercises to improve children's self esteem helped them assimilate information quicker, improve concentration and enhance natural talent.’
    • ‘Becoming a judge is a process - one that requires a lot of effort to assimilate the requisite information.’
    understand, comprehend, work out, fathom out, make sense of, grasp, catch, follow, perceive, make out, penetrate, divine, search out, ferret out, puzzle out, take in, absorb, get to the bottom of
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    1. 1.1 Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture.
      ‘pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream with alarming speed’
      • ‘It is such a unique, comprehensive martial art, which assimilates other martial art forms into it.’
      • ‘The danger exists that universities will be so assimilated into society that we will no longer be the kind of collectors of talent that allow creativity to blossom.’
      • ‘Hence, friends, I do believe that we can make our society even better by assimilating these Western values into our own culture - we will be stronger for it.’
      • ‘And it was spreading and taking over and trying to assimilate cultures and suppress belief systems.’
      • ‘Even the worst decisions are eventually assimilated into the culture of commerce.’
      • ‘We also want to be assimilated into the mainstream and do not want to be patronised.’
      • ‘What does the culture assimilate, and what is it forced to reject?’
      • ‘Throughout the period of conquest and migration Turkic peoples appropriated and assimilated the new cultures they encountered.’
      • ‘The later Babylonians, Arameans and Assyrians all assimilated the culture initially prepared by the Sumerians.’
      • ‘What's left for the apocalyptic imagination to do in a culture that has thoroughly assimilated the concept?’
      • ‘They missed out on education before they even came here and it's extremely difficult for them to be assimilated into mainstream society.’
      • ‘If the domestication is complete, the humanity of the native is obliterated, at least, until he assimilates the dominant culture.’
      • ‘It assimilates different musical elements from different musical genres including electronic, rock, global beat, neo-classic and industrial noise in a blend of its own.’
      • ‘As these pagan cultures were forcibly assimilated by Christian society, some of their original beliefs were blended with the new religion.’
      • ‘Fairweather painted mainly in earth colours used by the artists of South-East Asia and the Pacific and he was one of the first artists to assimilate aboriginal art into his own work.’
      • ‘The idea of fine art and artists in an ethnographic museum possesses its own set of difficulties, but Faber succeeds in assimilating visual art into the context in a way that has proved relevant, interesting and educational.’
      • ‘They have been assimilated into our culture, making their culture ours.’
      • ‘Chausson spent much of his short life - he died in a bicycle accident when he was 44 - assimilating Wagner's music while trying not to imitate it.’
      • ‘The Bakongo are a blend of peoples who assimilated the Kongo culture and language over time.’
      • ‘Common language and considerable wealth has greatly assisted the US in assimilating much artistry from overseas, but is disadvantaged to Japan in as much as it has never had to accept another culture for its own survival.’
      subsume, incorporate, integrate, absorb, engulf, swallow up, take over, co-opt, naturalize, adopt, embrace, accept, admit
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    2. 1.2no object Become absorbed and integrated into a society or culture.
      ‘the older generation had more trouble assimilating’
    3. 1.3 (of the body or any biological system) absorb and digest (food or nutrients)
      ‘the sugars in the fruit are readily assimilated by the body’
      • ‘In fact, they say, nobody knows what the correct quantity of these medicines for children is or how their systems assimilate the drugs.’
      • ‘For instance, many people who can't digest cow-milk-based products can happily assimilate stuff crafted from goat's milk (which is lower in lactose).’
      • ‘He could not assimilate the nutrients in food even if he had an appetite.’
      • ‘As a result, digestion is compromised with the poorly assimilated food contributing to the organ congestion.’
      • ‘If we find that people cannot assimilate foods created in this new way without harm to their health, we can always just engineer a better human being.’
      • ‘It also encourages capillary growth in your muscle tissue and increases the density of fuel-metabolizing mitochondria in your cells, both of which help you burn fat and assimilate nutrients.’
      • ‘Other supplements that are critical include magnesium and vitamin D, since they help you assimilate the calcium.’
      • ‘Most animals make heavy use of the muscular system and the digestive system to move about and to assimilate food.’
      • ‘To be safely assimilated, nutrients must be entirely compatible with the body and appropriate to evolved requirements.’
      • ‘At the same time, there is a stimulation to the growth of health-friendly, aerobic bacteria which help you digest and assimilate the needed nutrients.’
      • ‘Your pet may also have a systemic inability to assimilate certain nutrients.’
      • ‘Protein is the key to building muscle mass, but your body can assimilate only 30-40 grams of it in one feeding.’
      • ‘It is natural for all substances other than air to be assimilated into the body through digestive organs, but injecting a certain substance directly into blood vessels is unnatural.’
      • ‘For your body to use everything you eat, you have to help it digest and assimilate the sustaining values in foods and efficiently eliminate the rest.’
      • ‘But we never [before] had to assimilate a heavy dose of high-glycemic carbohydrates.’
      • ‘Some of the nutrients are assimilated by vegetation and converted to foliage.’
      • ‘Without receiving proper directions, the cells cannot assimilate the glucose, which then remains in the bloodstream.’
      • ‘This may be because the body becomes less efficient at assimilating the metal or the amount in the diet decreases.’
      • ‘Also, some products contain inferior proteins that aren't easily assimilated by the body.’
      • ‘As one can see, it is the perfect medium for a variety of health-giving, easily digested and assimilated food and herb combinations.’
      absorb, take in, acquire, pick up, grasp, comprehend, understand, learn, master
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  • 2Regard as similar; liken.

    ‘philosophers had assimilated thought to perception’
    1. 2.1no object Become similar.
      ‘the Churches assimilated to a certain cultural norm’
      • ‘I think the church had to assimilate with the society: it didn't come accompanied by Roman invasion as you know, so therefore it had to fit in with society rather than attempt to change society initially.’
      • ‘Left-wing, democratic, and moderate liberal opinion tended to become assimilated to the more extreme views of the right.’
      • ‘Those targets will be partly quantitative (and thus more closely assimilated to indicators) and partly qualitative.’
      • ‘The population of the empire included Siamese and probably other Austroasiatic peoples who gradually assimilated to the Khmer.’
      • ‘During that period, Catholic schools have steadily become assimilated to the non-denominational schools in terms of curriculum, teaching methods, assessment and examinations.’
      • ‘This is a man who believes that above all the church must resist the temptation to assimilate to modern secular culture.’
      • ‘Overwhelmingly, however, the global has been assimilated to the popular.’
    2. 2.2Phonetics Make (a sound) more like another in the same or next word.
      ‘the ‘v’ in ‘fivepence’ may be assimilated to a voiceless ‘f’ (because of the ‘p’)’
      • ‘In most circumstances, long u is music-u, the initial i glide being assimilated to produce truth-u only after certain consonants.’


Late Middle English: from Latin assimilat- ‘absorbed, incorporated’, from the verb assimilare, from ad- ‘to’ + similis ‘like’.