View synonyms for assimilate


[ verb uh-sim-uh-leyt; noun uh-sim-uh-lit, -leyt ]

verb (used with object)

, as·sim·i·lat·ed, as·sim·i·lat·ing.
  1. to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb:

    He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip.

  2. to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a dominant social group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust:

    to assimilate the new immigrants.

  3. Physiology. to convert (food) to substances suitable for incorporation into the body and its tissues.
  4. to cause to resemble (usually followed by to or with ).
  5. to compare; liken (usually followed by to or with ).
  6. Phonetics. to modify by assimilation.

verb (used without object)

, as·sim·i·lat·ed, as·sim·i·lat·ing.
  1. to be or become absorbed.
  2. to conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a dominant social group, nation, or the like:

    The new arrivals assimilated easily and quickly.

  3. Physiology. (of food) to be converted into the substance of the body; be absorbed into the system.
  4. to bear a resemblance (usually followed by to or with ).
  5. Phonetics. to become modified by assimilation.


  1. something that is assimilated.


/ əˈsɪmɪˌleɪt /


  1. tr to learn (information, a procedure, etc) and understand it thoroughly
  2. tr to absorb (food) and incorporate it into the body tissues
  3. intr to become absorbed, incorporated, or learned and understood
  4. usually foll byinto or with to bring or come into harmony; adjust or become adjusted

    the new immigrants assimilated easily

  5. usually foll byto or with to become or cause to become similar
  6. usually foll by to phonetics to change (a consonant) or (of a consonant) to be changed into another under the influence of one adjacent to it

    (n) often assimilates to ŋ before (k), as in ``include''

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Derived Forms

  • asˈsimiˌlator, noun
  • asˈsimilative, adjective
  • asˈsimilatively, adverb
  • asˈsimilable, adjective
  • asˈsimilably, adverb
  • asˌsimiˈlation, noun

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Other Words From

  • as·simi·lator noun
  • nonas·simi·lating adjective
  • reas·simi·late verb reassimilated reassimilating
  • unas·simi·lated adjective
  • unas·simi·lating adjective
  • well-as·simi·lated adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of assimilate1

First recorded in 1570–80; from Latin assimilātus “likened to, made like” (past participle of assimilāre ), equivalent to as- as- + simil- ( similar ) + -ātus -ate 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of assimilate1

C15: from Latin assimilāre to make one thing like another, from similis like, similar

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Example Sentences

They had worried about being able to assimilate into a culture so different from the one they had left behind.

Their stories were told again and again in an attempt to assimilate the tragedy, to comprehend the incomprehensible.

As prejudices waned, it became easier and ultimately desirable for Jews to fully assimilate.

Our bodies have a tendency to assimilate to the cognitive enhancements of tea, which can eventually lead to addiction.

The 21 percent of students whose parents are immigrants will have less of a chance to assimilate.

But the Oriental we can't assimilate, for all our ostrich-like digestion, and what we can't assimilate we won't have.

We assimilate anything white so quickly it is a wonder an immigrant remembers the native way of pronouncing his own name.

At this moment he was in the act of despoiling both ancient and modern philosophy of all their wealth in order to assimilate it.

These gardens are rather like oriental flower-plots, but they assimilate well with the climate.

Poetry is unable, under pain of death or decay, to assimilate itself to morals or science.


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