Meaning of “adaptive” in the English Dictionary

"adaptive" in English

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uk /əˈdæp.tɪv/ us /əˈdæp.tɪv/ specialized

Examples from literature

  • They may have done so originally, but we must remember that the embryonic life itself has been subject to adaptive changes for millions of years. 
  • This is especially true in the case of such adaptive instincts as curiosity, imitation, and play. 
  • This renders them facile and adaptive in the ever-changing conditions of organic evolution. 
  • Thomas was deeply observant and quickly adaptive. 
  • Thus, by a sort of action and reaction, a two-fold series of adaptive modifications will be brought about. 

(Definition of “adaptive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"adaptive" in American English

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able to adjust:

These governments do not possess the adaptive capacity to endure such changes.

biology able to adjust to the conditions of a particular environment

(Definition of “adaptive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"adaptive" in Business English

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/əˈdæptɪv/ uk us

changing quickly to suit different conditions:

Adaptive organizations rely on fast feedback from customers to respond to market changes.
Their favoured approach seems to be adaptive management, in which policymakers alter their policies as conditions change.

(Definition of “adaptive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)