verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

adopt out, to place (a child) for adoption: The institution may keep a child or adopt it out.

Origin of adopt

1490–1500; (< Middle French adopter) < Latin adoptāre, equivalent to ad- ad- + optāre to opt
Related formsa·dopt·er, nounnon·a·dopt·er, nounpre·a·dopt, verb (used with object)qua·si-a·dopt, verb (used with object)qua·si-a·dopt·ed, adjectivere·a·dopt, verb (used with object)un·a·dopt·ed, adjectivewell-a·dopt·ed, adjective
Can be confusedadapt adept adoptadopted adoptive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adopt

Contemporary Examples of adopt

Historical Examples of adopt

  • He would not adopt a nameless orphan, found with a poor goatherd of Phelle.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I can hardly think that Parliament will adopt a different view.

  • She's rather too old, and I'm rather too young to adopt her; but I daresay she would marry me.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Because he had come to live there was no reason why it should adopt him.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She seemed to take charge, to adopt me with the house, to accept and audit and vouch for us.

British Dictionary definitions for adopt


verb (tr)

law to bring (a person) into a specific relationship, esp to take (another's child) as one's own child
to choose and follow (a plan, technique, etc)
to take over (an idea, etc) as if it were one's own
to take on; assumeto adopt a title
to accept (a report, etc)
Derived Formsadoptee, nounadopter, nounadoption, noun

Word Origin for adopt

C16: from Latin adoptāre to choose for oneself, from optāre to choose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for adopt

c.1500, a back-formation from adoption or else from Middle French adopter or directly from Latin adoptare "take by choice, choose for oneself, select, choose" (especially a child). Originally in English also of friends, fathers, citizens, etc. Sense of "to legally take as one's own child" and that of "to embrace, espouse" a practice, method, etc. are from c.1600. Related: Adopted; adopting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper