[verb uh-sim-uh-leyt; noun uh-sim-uh-lit, -leyt]
verb (used with object), as·sim·i·lat·ed, as·sim·i·lat·ing.
  1. to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip.
  2. to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust: to assimilate the new immigrants.
  3. Physiology. to convert (food) to substances suitable for incorporation into the body and its tissues.
  4. to cause to resemble (usually followed by to or with).
  5. to compare; liken (usually followed by to or with).
  6. Phonetics. to modify by assimilation.
verb (used without object), as·sim·i·lat·ed, as·sim·i·lat·ing.
  1. to be or become absorbed.
  2. to conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like: The new arrivals assimilated easily and quickly.
  3. Physiology. (of food) to be converted into the substance of the body; be absorbed into the system.
  4. to bear a resemblance (usually followed by to or with).
  5. Phonetics. to become modified by assimilation.
  1. something that is assimilated.

Origin of assimilate

1570–80; < Latin assimilātus likened to, made like (past participle of assimilāre), equivalent to as- as- + simil- (see similar) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsas·sim·i·la·tor, nounnon·as·sim·i·lat·ing, adjectivere·as·sim·i·late, verb, re·as·sim·i·lat·ed, re·as·sim·i·lat·ing.un·as·sim·i·lat·ed, adjectiveun·as·sim·i·lat·ing, adjectivewell-as·sim·i·lat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unassimilated

Contemporary Examples of unassimilated

Historical Examples of unassimilated

  • The new world which is arriving is unassimilated, unsorted, unexplained.

    A Lost Cause

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

  • Most children get their minds stuffed with unassimilated facts.

  • How shall they, with their unassimilated populations, be cared for?

    Porto Rico

    Arthur D. Hall

  • Well, if not disintegrated, would you prefer it to be unassimilated?

  • What are the eugenic consequences of an unassimilated immigration?

    Applied Eugenics

    Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

British Dictionary definitions for unassimilated


  1. (tr) to learn (information, a procedure, etc) and understand it thoroughly
  2. (tr) to absorb (food) and incorporate it into the body tissues
  3. (intr) to become absorbed, incorporated, or learned and understood
  4. (usually foll by into or with) to bring or come into harmony; adjust or become adjustedthe new immigrants assimilated easily
  5. (usually foll by to or with) to become or cause to become similar
  6. (usually foll by to) phonetics to change (a consonant) or (of a consonant) to be changed into another under the influence of one adjacent to it(n) often assimilates to ŋ before (k), as in ``include''
Derived Formsassimilable, adjectiveassimilably, adverbassimilation, nounassimilative or assimilatory, adjectiveassimilator, nounassimilatively, adverb

Word Origin for assimilate

C15: from Latin assimilāre to make one thing like another, from similis like, similar
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 unassimilated



early 15c., from Latin assimilatus "feigned, pretended, fictitious," past participle of assimilare "to make like," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + simulare "make similar," from similis "like, resembling" (see similar). Originally transitive (with to); intransitive use first recorded 1837. Related: Assimilated; assimilating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unassimilated in Medicine


  1. To consume and incorporate nutrients into the body after digestion.
  2. To transform food into living tissue by the process of anabolism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.