to choose or take as one’s own; make one’s own by selection or assent:
to adopt a nickname.
to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one’s own child, specifically by a formal legal act.
to take or receive into any kind of new relationship:
to adopt a person as a protégé.
to select as a basic or required textbook or series of textbooks in a course.
to vote to accept:
The House adopted the report.
to accept or act in accordance with (a plan, principle, etc.).
adopt out, to place (a child) for adoption:
The institution may keep a child or adopt it out.
Contemporary Examples

It is lo-fi and imperfect, but cheap and “significantly better than nothing,” as one adopter in Shanghai said.
The Chinese Can’t Catch Their Breath Brendon Hong May 4, 2014

Historical Examples

The legitimate descendants of the adopter with the adopted, while the relation of adoption continues.
Marriage and Divorce Laws of the World Hyacinthe Ringrose

This adopter enters into another tube at the same degree of inclination which commences the condensing apparatus.
A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines Andrew Ure

In some simple distillations it is necessary to interpose an adopter between the retort and receiver, as shown Pl.
Elements of Chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier

The legitimate descendants of the adopter with the adopted, while the adoption lasts.
Marriage and Divorce Laws of the World Hyacinthe Ringrose

The adopted son took the name of his adopter, and was bound to perform his new father’s religious duties.
The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 1 Various

We attach to its neck an adopter pipe, and two or three globes with opposite tubulures, and a last globe with a vertical tubulure.
A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines Andrew Ure

But if the one adopted died first, the total obligation of the adopter expired, even to the heirs of the one adopted.
The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 – Volume 40 of 55 Francisco Colin

verb (transitive)
(law) to bring (a person) into a specific relationship, esp to take (another’s child) as one’s own child
to choose and follow (a plan, technique, etc)
to take over (an idea, etc) as if it were one’s own
to take on; assume: to adopt a title
to accept (a report, etc)

c.1500, a back-formation from adoption or else from Middle French adopter or directly from Latin adoptare “take by choice, choose for oneself, select, choose” (especially a child). Originally in English also of friends, fathers, citizens, etc. Sense of “to legally take as one’s own child” and that of “to embrace, espouse” a practice, method, etc. are from c.1600. Related: Adopted; adopting.


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