• synonyms


  1. serving or able to adapt; showing or contributing to adaptation: the adaptive coloring of a chameleon.
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Origin of adaptive

First recorded in 1815–25; adapt + -ive
Related formsa·dap·tive·ly, adverba·dap·tive·ness, nounad·ap·tiv·i·ty [ad-ap-tiv-i-tee] /ˌæd æpˈtɪv ɪ ti/, nounnon·a·dap·tive, adjectivere·a·dap·tive, adjectivere·a·dap·tive·ly, adverbre·a·dap·tive·ness, nounun·a·dap·tive, adjectiveun·a·dap·tive·ly, adverbun·a·dap·tive·ness, noun
Can be confusedadaptive adoptive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for adaptively

Historical Examples

  • Surely at least the unclear conception of an adaptively transformative influence of food must be discarded.

    On Germinal Selection as a Source of Definite Variation

    August Weismann