[ mal-uh-dap-tiv ]
See synonyms for maladaptive on
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by maladaptation or incomplete, inadequate, or faulty adaptation: The maladaptive behavior of isolated children was difficult to change.

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Origin of maladaptive

First recorded in 1930–35; mal- + adaptive

Words Nearby maladaptive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use maladaptive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for maladaptive


/ (ˌmæləˈdæptɪv) /

  1. unsuitably adapted or adapting poorly to (a situation, purpose, etc)

  2. not encouraging adaptation

Derived forms of maladaptive

  • maladapted, adjective
  • maladaptively, adverb

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