Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

adapt - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb adapt pronunciation in British English /əˈdæpt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleadapting
past tenseadapted
past participleadapted
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to change your ideas or behaviour so that you can deal with a new situation

    The company was accused of being slow to adapt.

    adapt to:

    Most students have little difficulty adapting to college life.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to change something to make it more suitable for a new use or situation

      Courses can be adapted to suit the needs of the individual.

      adapt for:

      You can adapt this fabric for anything from diverssuits to gloves.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to change a book or play so that it can be made into a film, TV programme etc
    adapt something from something:

    The film is adapted from a Michael Crichton novel.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play