the act or process of , or of absorbing information, experiences, etc.:
the need for quick assimilation of the facts.
the state or condition of being , or of being absorbed into something.
the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture of a group or nation, or the state of being so adapted:
assimilation of immigrants into American life.
Physiology. the conversion of absorbed food into the substance of the body.
Botany. the total process of plant nutrition, including photosynthesis and the absorption of raw materials.
Sociology. the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups, not involving biological amalgamation.
Phonetics. the act or process by which a sound becomes identical with or similar to a neighboring sound in one or more defining characteristics, as place of articulation, voice or voicelessness, or manner of articulation, as in
[gram-pah] /ˈgræm pɑ/ (Show IPA) for grandpa.
Compare (def 2).
Contemporary Examples

But the deeper domestic tensions come from questions about assimilation.
Islam’s Civil War John Avlon September 12, 2011

Hirsi Ali nonetheless said she was glad Wilders was bringing attention to Europe’s poor record of assimilation.
The Anti-Islam Film Everyone’s Talking About Benjamin Sarlin February 23, 2009

Today, Turkey in the German imagination has mostly to do with immigration, assimilation, and EU membership.
The 20th-Century Dictator Most Idolized by Hitler William O’Connor November 23, 2014

First, because of assimilation, Jewish groups began losing members.
Follow The Money Peter Beinart November 18, 2012

Writing in Slate, Gabriel Roth challenges the dominant Jewish communal view that assimilation is problematic.
On the Value of Remaining Identified as a Jew, in the Absence of Faith Mira Sucharov October 6, 2013

Historical Examples

This is so much loss of ingredients absolutely essential to digestion and assimilation.
Hints on Dairying T. D. Curtis

There were therefore no beginnings of any assimilation between them and the latter.
Impressions of South Africa James Bryce

Human nature finds such instruction very easy of assimilation.
Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda

A vital quality is for Roux a special process or mode of assimilation.
Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

And if eating is successfully done, digestion, assimilation, and the building of a healthy body are successfully begun.
The Science of Being Well Wallace Delois Wattles


early 15c., “act of assimilating,” from Old French assimilacion, from Latin assimilationem (nominative assimilatio) “likeness, similarity,” noun of action from past participle stem of assimilare (see assimilate). Psychological sense is from 1855.

assimilation as·sim·i·la·tion (ə-sĭm’ə-lā’shən)

The incorporation of digested substances from food into the tissues of an organism.

The amalgamation and modification of newly perceived information and experiences into the existing cognitive structure.

The conversion of nutrients into living tissue; constructive metabolism.

The process by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group: “Waves of immigrants have been assimilated into the American culture.”


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