Meaning of “adoptive” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"adoptive" in British English

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adoptiveadjective [ before noun ]

uk /əˈdɒp.tɪv/ us /əˈdɑːp.tɪv/


  • An adopted son passes completely out of the family of his natural, into that of his adoptive, father, all his rights and duties as a son being at the same time transferred.
  • His adoptive father shall give him of his wealth one-third of a child's portion, and then he may go.
  • His language to his emperor and adoptive father was deeply respectful and he spoke modestly of himself.
  • This can be seen nowhere better than in his attitude toward his adoptive father Julius Caesar.
  • Thus there came to the empire only experienced men, who without confusion assumed the throne of their adoptive fathers.

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

"adoptive" in American English

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adoptiveadjective [ not gradable ]

us /əˈdɑp·tɪv/

related, esp. as parents of someone, through adoption:

Her adoptive parents were farmers.

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