Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Adapt

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is adapt. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

To adapt is to make or become fit (as for a new use) often by modification.

// When people move to a new country, it can take them a while to adapt.

// The teachers adapted the curriculum so that students of all abilities will benefit from it.

ADAPT in Context

“Isaac Asimov’s [Foundation] novels are collections of short stories and novellas spanning thousands of years, which makes them hard to adapt as a continuous story.” — Belen Edwards,, 22 Dec. 2021

Did You Know?

“Nothing in this world is as reliable as change” is a common aphorism and one we can certainly attest to as lexicographers. English speakers adapted adapt, for example, in the 15th century from the Middle French adapter, which was itself an adaptation of Latin adaptāre. That source traces back to Latin aptus, meaning “fit” or “apt.” Other adaptations of aptus in English include aptitudeinept, and of course apt itself, as well as unapt and inapt.

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