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Definition of "assimilation" []

  • The act or process of assimilating. (noun)
  • The state of being assimilated. (noun)
  • Physiology The conversion of nutriments into living tissue; constructive metabolism. (noun)
  • Linguistics The process by which a sound is modified so that it becomes similar or identical to an adjacent or nearby sound. For example, the prefix in- becomes im- in impossible by assimilation to the labial p of possible. (noun)
  • The process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "assimilation" in a sentence
  • "In the social science literature on immigration and ethnicity, the term assimilation has been assigned various meanings."
  • "When the term assimilation is used with reference to mental development, it is well to remember that, while it originally referred to the building up of anatomical elements, these elements, once constructed, have an immediate psychological bearing."
  • "As mentioned above, the primary reaction in the assimilation is a fixation of carbon dioxide to an acceptor, the chemical nature of which has been established by Calvin."