- any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.
- a form or structure modified to fit a changed environment.
- the ability of a species to survive in a particular ecological niche, especially because of alterations of form or behavior brought about through natural selection.
Origin of adaptation
Examples from the Web for adaption
Historically, the Cossack way of living was one of disorder and adaption, of individualism and egalitarianism.
Indeed there is nothing in civilized countries to approach it in its combination of beauty and adaption for the purposes intended.Stanley in Africa|James P. Boyd
Max was never more of an artist than in his adaption of manner to theme.King John of Jingalo|Laurence Housman
On previous occasions, the adaption of soul to body was a work of time; but here it seemed the work of but a few hours.Sheppard Lee, Vol. I (of 2)|Robert Montgomery Bird
The fact that this was in the beginning a well-equipped club made the problem of its adaption a very slight one indeed.With the Doughboy in France|Edward Hungerford
The adaption of means to ends in nature clearly indicates a ——, and so proves a ——er.English Synonyms and Antonyms|James Champlin Fernald
British Dictionary definitions for adaption (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for adaption (2 of 2)
Medicine definitions for adaption
Science definitions for adaption
A Closer Look
The gazelle is extremely fast, and the cheetah is even faster. These traits are adaptations-characteristics or behaviors that give an organism an edge in the struggle for survival. Darwinian theory holds that adaptations are the result of a two-stage process: random variation and natural selection. Random variation results from slight genetic differences. For example, one cheetah in a group may be slightly faster than the others and thus have a better chance of catching a gazelle. The faster cheetah therefore has a better chance of being well-fed and living long enough to produce offspring. Since the cheetah's young have the same genes that made this parent fast, they are more likely to be fast than the young of slower cheetahs. The process is repeated in each generation, and thereby great speed becomes an adaptation common to cheetahs. This same process of natural selection, in which the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated, also favors the fastest gazelles. Though evolution, in this case, may be thought of as an arms race, animals may also adapt to their environment in a process known as adaptive radiation, as the so-called Darwin's finches in the Galápagos have done. On the islands, one type of finch gradually gave rise to some 13 different species of birds with differently shaped beaks, each species having adapted to its varying food niches and feeding habits. And, though we seldom think of it, humans also have an impact on an organism's adaptation to its environment. For instance, because of the misuse of antibiotics, some disease-causing bacteria have rapidly adapted to become resistant to the drugs.
Culture definitions for adaption
The changes made by living systems in response to their environment. Heavy fur, for example, is one adaptation to a cold climate.