from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Physiology To consume and incorporate (nutrients) into the body after digestion.
  • transitive v. Physiology To transform (food) into living tissue by the process of anabolism; metabolize constructively.
  • transitive v. To incorporate and absorb into the mind: assimilate knowledge.
  • transitive v. To make similar; cause to resemble.
  • transitive v. Linguistics To alter (a sound) by assimilation.
  • transitive v. To absorb (immigrants or a culturally distinct group) into the prevailing culture.
  • intransitive v. To become assimilated.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To incorporate nutrients into the body after digestion.
  • v. To incorporate or absorb knowledge into the mind.
  • v. To absorb a group of people into a community.
  • v. To compare something to another similar one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To become similar or like something else.
  • intransitive v. To change and appropriate nourishment so as to make it a part of the substance of the assimilating body.
  • intransitive v. To be converted into the substance of the assimilating body; to become incorporated.
  • transitive v. To bring to a likeness or to conformity; to cause a resemblance between.
  • transitive v. To liken; to compa�e.
  • transitive v. To appropriate and transform or incorporate into the substance of the assimilating body; to absorb or appropriate, as nourishment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make alike; cause to resemble.
  • In philology, to render accordant, or less discordant, in sound; bring to or toward agreement in mode of utterance: said of alphabetic sounds as affected by other neighboring sounds, generally (but not always) in the same word. See assimilation, .
  • To compare; liken; class.
  • To convert into a substance suitable for absorption by an animal or vegetable system; absorb and incorporate into the system; incorporate with organic tissues: as, to assimilate food.
  • To bring into conformity; adapt.
  • To conform to; make one's own; adopt.
  • To become similar; become like something or somebody else; harmonize.
  • To be taken into and incorporated with another body; be converted into the substance of another body, as food by digestion.
  • To perform the act of converting anything, as food, into the substance of that which converts it: as, “birds assimilate … less than beasts,”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make similar
  • v. take up mentally
  • v. become similar to one's environment
  • v. become similar in sound
  • v. take (gas, light or heat) into a solution


Middle English assimilaten, from Latin assimilāre, assimilāt-, to make similar to : ad-, ad- + similis, like; see sem-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin assimulātus ("made similar, imitated"), perfect passive participle of assimulō, from ad + simulō ("imitate, copy"). (Wiktionary)



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  • Assimilate A: (adjective, past participle) means "likened, compared." B: (noun) 1. "that which is like;" 2. something that has been assimilated (Oxford English Dictionary).

    August 10, 2011

  • assimilation of vocabulary may best be achieved by writing 10 to 20 sentences of each new word in different contexts

    September 27, 2010