Words related to adapt


word-forming element expressing direction toward or in addition to, from Latin ad "to, toward" in space or time; "with regard to, in relation to," as a prefix, sometimes merely emphatic, from PIE root *ad- "to, near, at."

Simplified to a- before sc-, sp- and st-; modified to ac- before many consonants and then re-spelled af-, ag-, al-, etc., in conformity with the following consonant (as in affection, aggression). Also compare ap- (1).

In Old French, reduced to a- in all cases (an evolution already underway in Merovingian Latin), but French refashioned its written forms on the Latin model in 14c., and English did likewise 15c. in words it had picked up from Old French. In many cases pronunciation followed the shift.

Over-correction at the end of the Middle Ages in French and then English "restored" the -d- or a doubled consonant to some words that never had it (accursed, afford). The process went further in England than in France (where the vernacular sometimes resisted the pedantic), resulting in English adjourn, advance, address, advertisement (Modern French ajourner, avancer, adresser, avertissement). In modern word-formation sometimes ad- and ab- are regarded as opposites, but this was not in classical Latin.

apt (adj.)

mid-14c., "inclined, disposed;" late 14c., "suited, fitted, adapted, possessing the necessary qualities for the purpose," from Old French ate "fitting, suitable, appropriate" (13c., Modern French apte), or directly from Latin aptus "fit, suited, proper, appropriate," adjectival use of past participle of *apere "to attach, join, tie to." This is reconstructed to be from PIE root *ap- (1) "to grasp, take, reach" (source also of Sanskrit apnoti "he reaches," Latin apisci "to reach after, attain," Hittite epmi "I seize"). The elliptical sense of "becoming, appropriate" is from 1560s.

adaptability (n.)

"quality that renders adaptable," 1660s, from adapt + -ability. In modern use especially in evolutionary biology, "variability in respect to, or under the influence of, external conditions."

adaptable (adj.)

1680s, "capable of being made to fit by alteration," from adapt + -able.

adapter (n.)

1801, "one who adapts (something to something else)," agent noun from adapt. From 1808 as "mechanical means of adapting objects so they fit or work together" (originally of chemistry apparatus); electrical engineering sense is by 1907.

adaptive (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, or characterized by adaptation," 1795, from adapt + -ive. The classically proper formation is adaptative (1831).