adopt (v.)

"take to one's self, make one's own by selection," c. 1500, a back-formation from adoption or else from Old French adopter (14c.) or directly from Latin adoptare "chose for oneself, take by choice, select, adopt," especially "to take into a family, adopt as a child," from ad "to" (see ad-) + optare "choose, wish, desire" (see option (n.)).

Originally in English of friends, fathers, citizens, etc., as well as children. The specific sense of "to legally take as one's own child" and that of "to embrace, espouse" a practice, method, etc. are from c. 1600. Related: Adopted; adopting.

updated on September 15, 2022