Definition of adapt in US English:

adapt

verb

[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’
    ‘mink are well adapted to hunting prey’
    • ‘The building's original gymnasium space and kitchens were adapted for Church use.’
    • ‘An existing in-house induction programme was adapted for the company's overseas staff.’
    • ‘The ability to adapt organisational culture to suit individual needs takes many shapes and forms.’
    • ‘Indeed, the procedures and trappings of the hunt were adapted for military purposes.’
    • ‘We use a unique approach to training, adapting our delivery to suit individual groups.’
    • ‘We will make these available in a format that you can download, so you can modify or adapt them as needed.’
    • ‘She then adapts the design to suit the individual.’
    • ‘In modern Africa large oil drums are often adapted for the purpose.’
    • ‘I also reserve the right to modify and adapt elements of the winning design both now and in the future.’
    • ‘Before the internal combustion engine was adapted for use in fishing boats, human strength was the only means of conquering the seas.’
    • ‘After several years of tests, they are now modifying and adapting the system to their individual enterprises.’
    • ‘Many of them flourish in a broad range of habitats, and nearly all of them are adapted for wide dispersal.’
    • ‘The first pair were adapted for feeding, the next four were walking legs, and the most posterior pair formed large swimming paddles.’
    • ‘In the current investigation, a number of existing measures were adapted for use.’
    • ‘The minibuses are specially adapted for wheelchair users and the timescale to obtain a replacement is four to six months.’
    • ‘Individual countries can no longer adapt monetary policy to suit their particular economic situation.’
    • ‘Computer manufacturers routinely gave machines to schools at a discount or without cost, but adapting them to educational purposes proved difficult.’
    • ‘But, for a historian, he seems incredibly obtuse about the process of historical change, particularly the way each culture adapts ideas to suit its own purposes.’
    • ‘The long claws, strong leg and shoulder muscles of these bears are well adapted for digging dens and food.’
    • ‘Birds use them for flight, and they are exquisitely adapted for flight in their subtlest details.’
    modify, alter, make alterations to, change, adjust, make adjustments to, convert, transform, redesign, restyle, refashion, remodel, reshape, revamp, rework, redo, reconstruct, reorganize
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    1. 1.1no object Become adjusted to new conditions.
      ‘a large organization can be slow to adapt to change’
      • ‘That's why I had to adjust my game and adapt to the team I was with, so with that I just became a shooter.’
      • ‘There is a good deal in this case and other writings about the need for the law to adapt to modern social conditions.’
      • ‘These must be understood so plans can evolve and adapt to different conditions.’
      • ‘Even die-hard manufacturing experts believe that British industry needs to adapt to the new conditions.’
      • ‘These archetypes defy history and adapt to local conditions in order to live on.’
      • ‘They were able to adapt to whatever the political situations or life conditions demanded.’
      • ‘Without this the species would be unable to adapt to changing conditions and would eventually perish.’
      • ‘They adapt to the conditions here, the climate, the training, the food.’
      • ‘Unless batsmen have a plan worked out in their minds and adapt to the conditions they're playing in, they will make lots of mistakes.’
      • ‘Some of these individuals might be at an advantage over their predecessors, because they might be more able to adapt to new conditions.’
      • ‘He should've adapted to us rather than trying to make us adapt to him.’
      • ‘If that's the case, then what they need to learn to do is figure out a way to adapt to this change in market conditions.’
      • ‘If this happens, it would be crucial that species could adapt to the new conditions.’
      • ‘A decent game of football was never likely as both teams struggled to adapt to the atrocious conditions.’
      • ‘Therefore, it is important to understand the mechanisms that plants use to adapt to water-limited conditions.’
      • ‘Being able to adapt to any hill conditions or terrain is what makes good skiers great.’
      • ‘It is willing to adapt to new world conditions, and to absorb new technologies and investments.’
      • ‘TS Moorhouse blamed part of the problem on motorists who failed to adapt to the conditions.’
      • ‘As the game went on they did adapt to the conditions and raised their game accordingly but to no avail.’
      • ‘If one is to enjoy any return on the investment, one must be smart, work diligently and adapt to local conditions.’
      adjust, acclimatize, accommodate, attune, habituate, acculturate, conform
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    2. 1.2 Alter (a text) to make it suitable for filming, broadcasting, or the stage.
      ‘the miniseries was adapted from Wouk's novel’
      • ‘Lord of the Flies is another in a long line of films adapted from various print material.’
      • ‘The character of Selina Davis in Jazz - which is adapted from a short story by Jean Rhys - is a prime example.’
      • ‘I normally stay away from movies which are adapted from books I've read and enjoyed.’
      • ‘The Notebook and The Proof, by Agota Kristof, is a trilogy which has been adapted from novel to stage.’
      • ‘It's also a departure, his first period piece and his first film adapted from pre-existing material.’
      • ‘The show runs until January 25 and is adapted from the much loved classic book by Philippa Pearce.’
      • ‘Though the film was adapted from the stage musical of the same name, all of the songs have been cut.’
      • ‘The musical, which wowed the crowds when it visited Bradford last year, is adapted from the 1961 film.’
      • ‘Like Minority Report, it was heavily adapted for the screen, but in a way that's necessary.’
      • ‘One of my favourite films of 2001 was Wu Yen, which is adapted from a folk tale that was also made into a Cantonese opera.’
      • ‘The same can be said of any number of films adapted from fiction and nonfiction sources.’
      • ‘As with any film that is adapted from a novel, the movie often does not do the book justice.’
      • ‘When I first read the musical, which was adapted from the book by some guys in New York, I was very aware of how big it felt and how American it seemed.’
      • ‘It was adapted for theatre by Marcy Kahan, from Nora Ephron's original screenplay.’
      • ‘The story has been adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's classic original and had songs interwoven for the stage version.’
      • ‘However, I remember her chiefly for the stage play The Woman in Black, which was adapted from one of her books.’
      • ‘Some of the most successful films of all time have been adapted from popular novels.’
      • ‘The film, adapted from the novel by Robert Harris, is based in fact.’
      • ‘City of Spades is adapted for radio by Biyi Bandele and Directed by Toby Swift.’
      amend, emend, correct, alter, change, edit, copy-edit, rewrite, redraft, rescript, recast, rephrase, rework, update, revamp
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Usage

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

adapt

/əˈdæpt//əˈdapt/