verb (used with object)
  1. to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly: They adapted themselves to the change quickly. He adapted the novel for movies.
verb (used without object)
  1. to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc.: to adapt easily to all circumstances.

Origin of adapt

1605–15; < Latin adaptāre to fit, adjust, perhaps via French adapter. See ad-, apt
Related formsa·dapt·ed·ness, nounmis·a·dapt, verbnon·a·dapt·ing, adjectivere·a·dapt, verb (used with object)un·a·dapt·ed, adjectivewell-a·dapt·ed, adjective
Can be confusedadapt adept adopt

Synonyms for adapt

Synonym study

1. See adjust. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-adapted

Historical Examples of well-adapted

British Dictionary definitions for well-adapted


adjective (well adapted when postpositive)
  1. having been made or adjusted to fit suitably into an environment, situation, etc


  1. (often foll by to) to adjust (someone or something, esp oneself) to different conditions, a new environment, etc
  2. (tr) to fit, change, or modify to suit a new or different purposeto adapt a play for use in schools
Derived Formsadaptable, adjectiveadaptability or adaptableness, nounadaptive, adjective

Word Origin for adapt

C17: from Latin adaptāre, from ad- to + aptāre to fit, from aptus apt
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 well-adapted



early 15c. (implied in adapted) "to fit (something, for some purpose)," from Middle French adapter (14c.), from Latin adaptare "adjust," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + aptare "join," from aptus "fitted" (see apt). Meaning "to undergo modification so as to fit new circumstances" (intransitive) is from 1956. Related: Adapting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper