• (British, America) IPA: /əˈsɪm.ɪ.leɪt/

assimilate (assimilates, present participle assimilating; past and past participle assimilated)

  1. (transitive) To incorporate nutrients into the body, especially after digestion.
    Food is assimilated and converted into organic tissue.
    • Hence also animals and vegetables may assimilate their nourishment.
  2. (transitive) To incorporate or absorb (knowledge) into the mind.
    The teacher paused in her lecture to allow the students to assimilate what she had said.
    • His mind had no power to assimilate the lessons.
  3. (transitive) To absorb (a person or people) into a community or culture.
    The aliens in the science-fiction film wanted to assimilate human beings into their own race.
  4. (transitive) To compare to something similar.
  5. (transitive) To bring to a likeness or to conformity; to cause a resemblance between.
    • to assimilate our law to the law of Scotland
    • Fast falls a fleecy shower; the downy flakes / Assimilate all objects.
  6. (intransitive) To become similar.
  7. (intransitive) To be incorporated or absorbed into something.
  • (incorporate or absorb knowledge into the mind) process
  • (absorb a group of people into a community) integrate
Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. Something that is or has been assimilated.
    • 2012, A. Läuchli, R.L. Bieleski, Inorganic Plant Nutrition, ISBN 3642688853, page 83
      the growing root and ectomycorrhizas both act as assimilate sinks

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