Adapt vs adopt

Adapt, when used as a transitive verb, means to modify something in order to make it useful for a new purpose. When adapt is used as an intransitive verb, it means to adjust oneself to a new situation or circumstance. Adapt may also mean to render a source text suitable for film, stage or television. Verb forms are adapts, adapted and adapting, the adjective form is adapted and the noun form is adaptation. Adapt comes from the fifteenth century Middle French word, adapter, which comes from the Latin adaptare, meaning to fit.

Adopt is a transitive verb which means to bring up another person’s child as one’s own. Adopt may also mean to take on, accept or follow a plan, idea or attitude. Adopt also means to choose another country as one’s residence. In Great Britain, adopt may mean to choose someone to be a candidate for office. Verb forms are adopts, adopted and adopting, the adjective form is adoptable and nouns are adoptee, adopter and adoption. Adopt come from the Middle French adopter, which comes from the Latin adoptare, meaning to take by choice, to choose for oneself, select.


Adapt and adopt are easily confused. Remember that adapt means to adjust to a new situation, which one might achieve by adopting new ideas or behaviors.


Magic Valley radio stations adapt as tastes change (The Washington Times)

Bastrop business owners and shoppers have had to adapt over the past month, following the removal of street parking on the Downtown stretch of Loop 150. (The Austin American-Statesman)

Warner Bros., Roy Lee to Adapt World War II Tale ‘To the White Sea’ (The Hollywood Reporter)

While same-sex couples have long been able to adopt from private, gay-friendly adoption agencies, adopting children from the foster care system has proved more difficult in some states. (USA Today)

UND HOCKEY: St. Cloud State the latest NCHC school to adopt restrictive ticket policy (Grand Forks Herald)

He will call for Labour to adopt a stronger regional policy to revive “blue-collar” areas hit hard by economic change and an immigration policy that stops migrant workers being exploited. (The Independent)


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