Definition of assimilate in US English:



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

    ‘Marie tried to assimilate the week's events’
    • ‘Becoming a judge is a process - one that requires a lot of effort to assimilate the requisite 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.’
    • ‘The experts are better able to assimilate information, based on their expectations from the mental model.’
    • ‘Collecting, analyzing, and assimilating information at this level of detail is a formidable challenge for intelligence analysts, policymakers, and warfighters alike.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was designed to help general practitioners appraise and assimilate information from scientific publications.’
    • ‘Angel needed a few seconds to assimilate the information.’
    • ‘A motion to adjourn and reconvene in six days so that directors could assimilate the new information was defeated by three votes.’
    • ‘An audience that senses it is being indoctrinated is more likely to resist assimilating the information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Study questions that will allow the student to assess how well they are assimilating the information are included at the end of each chapter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Time, effort, and resources must be devoted in order to locate, gather, and assimilate information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A lot of data from long-term studies need to be analyzed and assimilated to help in the decision-making process.’
    • ‘The argument that even fifth-grade students, for example, are not ‘ready’ to assimilate psychological information needs to be revisited.’
    • ‘The Mexican girl leans back, assimilating this new information.’
    • ‘For example, students are regularly using the Internet to gather and assimilate information for use in research assignments.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘What does the culture assimilate, and what is it forced to reject?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What's left for the apocalyptic imagination to do in a culture that has thoroughly assimilated the concept?’
      • ‘We also want to be assimilated into the mainstream and do not want to be patronised.’
      • ‘They have been assimilated into our culture, making their culture ours.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And it was spreading and taking over and trying to assimilate cultures and suppress belief systems.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is such a unique, comprehensive martial art, which assimilates other martial art forms into it.’
      • ‘Even the worst decisions are eventually assimilated into the culture of commerce.’
      • ‘If the domestication is complete, the humanity of the native is obliterated, at least, until he assimilates the dominant culture.’
      • ‘They missed out on education before they even came here and it's extremely difficult for them to be assimilated into mainstream society.’
      • ‘The Bakongo are a blend of peoples who assimilated the Kongo culture and language over time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 later Babylonians, Arameans and Assyrians all assimilated the culture initially prepared by the Sumerians.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Throughout the period of conquest and migration Turkic peoples appropriated and assimilated the new cultures they encountered.’
      • ‘As these pagan cultures were forcibly assimilated by Christian society, some of their original beliefs were blended with the new religion.’
      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’
      • ‘To be safely assimilated, nutrients must be entirely compatible with the body and appropriate to evolved requirements.’
      • ‘Without receiving proper directions, the cells cannot assimilate the glucose, which then remains in the bloodstream.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Other supplements that are critical include magnesium and vitamin D, since they help you assimilate the calcium.’
      • ‘As a result, digestion is compromised with the poorly assimilated food contributing to the organ congestion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also, some products contain inferior proteins that aren't easily assimilated by the body.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He could not assimilate the nutrients in food even if he had an appetite.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Protein is the key to building muscle mass, but your body can assimilate only 30-40 grams of it in one feeding.’
      • ‘Your pet may also have a systemic inability to assimilate certain nutrients.’
      • ‘As one can see, it is the perfect medium for a variety of health-giving, easily digested and assimilated food and herb combinations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most animals make heavy use of the muscular system and the digestive system to move about and to assimilate food.’
      • ‘This may be because the body becomes less efficient at assimilating the metal or the amount in the diet decreases.’
      • ‘In fact, they say, nobody knows what the correct quantity of these medicines for children is or how their systems assimilate the drugs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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).’
      absorb, take in, acquire, pick up, grasp, comprehend, understand, learn, master
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  • 2Cause (something) to resemble; liken.

    ‘philosophers had assimilated thought to perception’
    1. 2.1no object Come to resemble.
      ‘the Churches assimilated to a certain cultural norm’
      • ‘Overwhelmingly, however, the global has been assimilated to the popular.’
      • ‘Those targets will be partly quantitative (and thus more closely assimilated to indicators) and partly qualitative.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Left-wing, democratic, and moderate liberal opinion tended to become assimilated to the more extreme views of the right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The population of the empire included Siamese and probably other Austroasiatic peoples who gradually assimilated to the Khmer.’
    2. 2.2Phonetics Make (a sound) more like another in the same or next word.
      • ‘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’.