• synonyms


or a·dap·tor

See more synonyms for adapter on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that adapts.
    1. a connector for joining parts or devices having different sizes, designs, etc., enabling them to be fitted or to work together.
    2. Also called plug adapter, adapter plug.a device that connects an electrical plug to an outlet that has a different plug shape: Last time I traveled, I brought the wrong adapter.
    3. Also called AC adapter, power adapter.a device with a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet and functions as an external power supply for a small or portable electronic device, usually converting AC current to DC: I forgot to plug in the adapter, and my laptop died.
  2. an accessory to convert a machine, tool, or part to a new or modified use.
  3. Computers.
    1. expansion card.
    2. an external device containing the necessary circuitry to connect to or work with another device or system: a network adapter; a wireless adapter; a video adapter.
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Origin of adapter

First recorded in 1795–1805; adapt + -er1
Related formsnon·a·dapt·er, non·a·dap·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for adapter

connection, linguist, clamp, junction, coupling, joint, fastener, link, tie, bond, adapter, connector, auxiliary, extension, annex, addition, extra, fixture, accessory, adjunct

Examples from the Web for adapter

Historical Examples of adapter

  • Poems by Collin and Carpani, the adapter of the text, were presented to him.

    The Standard Oratorios

    George P. Upton

  • These reveal Shakespeare undisguisedly as an adapter of plays by other hands.

  • Sometimes he takes his adapter with him to see these French plays.

  • Burton, indeed, hailed the adapter of Omar Khayyam as a "fellow Sufi."

  • The hand of the adapter, the interpolator and the reviser is unmistakably present.

Word Origin and History for adapter


1801, agent noun from adapt. Electrical engineering sense from 1907.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

adapter in Medicine


  1. One that adapts.
  2. A connecting part that joins two pieces of apparatus.
  3. A converter of electric current to a desired form.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.