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From Middle French adopter, from Latin adoptare; ad +‎ optare (to choose, desire).



adopt (third-person singular simple present adopts, present participle adopting, simple past and past participle adopted)

  1. (transitive) To take by choice into relationship (a child, heir, friend, citizen, etc.)
    1. (transitive) To take voluntarily (a child of other parents) to be in the place of, or as, one's own child.
      A friend of mine recently adopted a Chinese baby girl found on the streets of Beijing.
    2. (transitive) To obtain (a pet) from a shelter or the wild.
      We're going to adopt a Dalmatian.
    3. (transitive) To take by choice into the scope of one's responsibility.
      This supermarket chain adopts several families every Yuletide, providing them with money and groceries for the holidays.
  2. (transitive) To take or receive as one's own what is not so naturally.
    He adopted a new look in order to fit in with his new workmates.
    • 2014 November 14, Blake Bailey, “'Tennessee Williams,' by John Lahr [print version: Theatrical victory of art over life, International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 13]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      [S]he [Edwina, mother of Tennessee Williams] was indeed Amanda [Wingfield, character in Williams' play The Glass Menagerie] in the flesh: a doughty chatterbox from Ohio who adopted the manner of a Southern belle and eschewed both drink and sex to the greatest extent possible.
  3. (transitive) To select and take or approve.
    to adopt the view or policy of another
    These resolutions were adopted.

Related termsEdit


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