Definition of adaptation in US English:



  • 1The action or process of adapting or being adapted.

    ‘the adaptation of teaching strategy to meet students' needs’
    ‘adaptations to the school curriculum’
    • ‘Throughout the next hundred years, the two denominations pursued different strategies for cultural adaptation.’
    • ‘Both processes exemplify adaptation or adjustment, but very different mechanisms must be involved.’
    • ‘Emergent norm theory describes a rational process of social and psychological adaptation to a truly novel circumstance.’
    • ‘The body performs many automatic tasks, including self-repair, maintenance and adaptation.’
    • ‘By taking into account the difficult process of adaptation of the military into the civil society, I think, the army indeed paid a heavy price for the reforms.’
    • ‘Psychologists talk about a process called adaptation; it turns out that we quickly adjust to whatever our environment is like.’
    • ‘I believe we have to start thinking of our bodies and brains as systems, and learn to see hormonal change as one part of a much broader process of adaptation.’
    • ‘The process of adaptation is sometimes visualized as populations walking throughout an adaptive landscape.’
    • ‘The solutions to global warming involve adaptation to new conditions.’
    • ‘For all of their contacts and talent, he acknowledges the fact that survival, as a musician, is a process of adaptation.’
    • ‘The tone and tactics of globalisation critics may need some adaptation, but debating on who makes and manages global policies remains vital.’
    • ‘It is a process of adaptation, a habit acquired with effort, pain, and tedium.’
    • ‘Children whose capacity for social adaptation is reduced over 90 per cent will also be entitled to an allowance.’
    • ‘This was considered critical for highly educated immigrants, because settlement and adaptation is facilitated by social interaction.’
    • ‘For many senior citizens, retirement means the end of the work day and adaptation to the loss of an identity and a daily social setting.’
    • ‘When we were on the same continent, you would see everybody once a week, you knew where they were, so the progression of change and adaptation was very gradual.’
    • ‘The shape and form of the bungalow constantly underwent change and adaptation out of functional necessity.’
    • ‘Absent a critical cultural adaptation, human beings could never have thrived in the face of this constraint.’
    • ‘Treatment includes long term medication such as steroid, dietary adaptation, lifestyle adaptation and surgery.’
    converting, conversion, alteration, modification, adjustment, changing, transformation
    adjustment, conformity, acclimatization, accommodation, attunement, familiarization, habituation, orientation, conditioning, inurement, hardening, seasoning, acculturation, assimilation, integration, domestication, naturalization
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A movie, television drama, or stage play that has been adapted from a written work, typically a novel.
      ‘filming her adaptation of a beloved children's book’
      • ‘Film adaptations of video games have a bad track record to date.’
      • ‘Television dramas were usually adaptations of stage plays, and invariably about upper classes.’
      • ‘This movie adaptation of the TV adaptation of the novelisation of the radio series is about as faithful as you can get.’
      • ‘IS THERE a limit to the number of film adaptations that can be made of classic literature before it becomes too stale?’
      • ‘‘Christopher Hampton's translation and adaptation just jumps off the page at you,’ he said.’
      • ‘Further film adaptations are planned, in light of the success of this first big-screen project.’
      • ‘I know several of my peers who have spent years working on film adaptations of their work, only for them either to come out badly, or else not come out at all.’
      • ‘Fourteen film adaptations were made of his works during his lifetime, the first in 1915.’
      • ‘The movie adaptation has attracted critical praise in the US, although it received a mixed reception at the Sundance film festival.’
      • ‘In the days before television, it was common practice to create radio adaptations of popular films.’
      • ‘Robert Louis Stevenson's timeless tale of ships and pirates has been a huge success in the guises of film and television adaptations.’
      • ‘So his latest film, an adaptation of his stage play, The Far Side of the Moon, comes as a shock.’
      • ‘From now on, she will write the book first, then do an adaptation for film or television.’
      • ‘The critical response to my adaptation of Midnight Cowboy has made me break my chaste vow of silence.’
      • ‘I have a theory about film adaptations of literary works whose titles include the author's name.’
      • ‘No novelist can afford to be precious about the film adaptations of their work.’
      • ‘In fact, the film was an adaptation of a novel by the Australian author Dale Collins, published in 1930.’
      • ‘It could be argued that the most difficult screenplays to write are adaptations of novels.’
      • ‘And out just in time for its movie adaptation, seasons one through four of The Dukes of Hazzard can be purchased in one convenient box set.’
      • ‘Unlike other poor adaptations, this film suffers from following the text too closely.’
    2. 1.2Biology A change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.
      ‘living in groups is an adaptation that increases the efficiency of hunting’
      ‘biochemical adaptation in parasites’
      • ‘In general, the results support the importance of physiological and genetic adaptation of microbes to the environment.’
      • ‘Molecular biologists have seen all of these processes at work in the laboratory, in particular the adaptation of duplicated genes.’
      • ‘One of the processes that may lead to the formation of sibling species complexes involves adaptation to specific habitats.’
      • ‘This may be related to the adaptation of the plant to the warmer climate of the Cape Verde Islands.’
      • ‘Is adaptation to stressful environments more rapid and extensive than to benign environments?’
      • ‘The adaptation of organisms to their habitat ultimately depends upon environmental criteria.’
      • ‘We should not casually assume that earlier forms were inferior in adaptation to their particular environment.’
      • ‘They exhibit striking differences in physical features, indicating adaptation to different environments.’
      • ‘They better understand the process of speciation, adaptation, and extinction.’
      • ‘However, mutators may play an important role in the adaptation of organisms to changing environments.’


Early 17th century: from French, from late Latin adaptatio(n-), from Latin adaptare (see adapt).