mid-14c., from Old French adopcion or directly from Late Latin adoptionem (nominative adoptio) "a taking as one's child," shorter form of adoptatio, noun of action from past-participle stem of 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," from PIE root *op- (2) "to choose" (see option (n.)).
Entries linking to adoption
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 written forms in French were refashioned after Latin 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.
c. 1600, "action of choosing;" 1630s, "power or liberty of choosing," from French option (Old French opcion), from Latin optionem (nominative optio) "choice, free choice, liberty to choose," from optare "to desire, pray for, choose," which is of uncertain origin. De Vaan derives it from Proto-Italic *opeje- "to choose, grab," from PIE *hopeie- "to choose, grab," and compares Hittite epp/app- "to take, grab," Sanskrit apa, Avestan apa "has reached."
The meaning "thing that may be chosen" is attested from 1885. The commercial transaction sense of "privilege secured by payment of a premium (on a stock or a certain produce at a specified time and at a specified price)" is recorded from 1755 (the verb in this sense is attested by 1880 in American English). As a North American football play in which the back may either pass the ball or run with it, it is recorded by 1953.
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 also of friends, fathers, citizens, etc. 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.
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