Adaptable or adaptive

Photo of author


For something to be described as adaptable it must be capable of changing to match new surroundings or conditions. It could also be able to change for new purposes.

Adaptive, on the other hand, is used to describe things that are made specifically to aid persons with disabilities. The word may also be used when something has the ability to adapt or change.

Adaptive has three forms, including the adverb adaptively, the noun adaptiveness, and the noun adaptivity.

Adaptable has one derivative, which is the noun form of adaptability.


A campaign to encourage Kiwis to think about the future when building or renovating their home; ensuring homes are easy to use, adaptable, accessible and safe to visit and live in, launches this Wednesday 3 December. [Scoop NZ]

If you’d asked me 10 years ago if the most adaptable animal in North America would ever be listed as threatened or endangered, I’d have laughed it off. [Times Argus]

Sader-Neade is one of the peer students in the adaptive physical education class — a mentor for students with special needs. [Denver Post]

The solution dynamically creates development plans for thousands of individuals based on their job roles, and can adaptively create and deliver learning materials tailored to an individual’s unique needs and career goals. [Consumer Electronics Net]

In contrast, many of our most renowned world leaders learned to swim against this tide. Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Angela Merkel, Mary Robinson, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Leymah Gbowee and Aung San Suu Kyi, to name a few, showed much more adaptivity in conflict. [Huffington Post]