assimilation

Whether you’re talking about ideas or nutrients, assimilation describes the act of taking something in and absorbing it fully.

Assimilation comes from the Latin assimilationem, meaning “likeness" or "similarity.” People of different backgrounds and beliefs undergo assimilation when, through living together, they come to see themselves as part of a larger community, or when a small group is absorbed into, and made part of, a bigger group, such as the Irish immigrants in America in the 19th century. Assimilation can also refer to the absorption of new ideas into existing knowledge.

Definitions of assimilation
  1. noun
    the social process of absorbing one cultural group into harmony with another
    synonyms: absorption
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    types:
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    Americanisation, Americanization
    assimilation into American culture
    Anglicisation, Anglicization
    the act of anglicizing; making English in appearance
    Europeanisation, Europeanization
    assimilation into European culture
    Westernisation, Westernization
    assimilation of Western culture; the social process of becoming familiar with or converting to the customs and practices of Western civilization
    type of:
    social process
    a process involved in the formation of groups of persons
  2. noun
    the state of being assimilated; people of different backgrounds come to see themselves as part of a larger national family
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    type of:
    relationship
    a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries
  3. noun
    a linguistic process by which a sound becomes similar to an adjacent sound
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    type of:
    linguistic process
    a process involved in human language
  4. noun
    the process of absorbing nutrients into the body after digestion
    synonyms: absorption
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    types:
    anabolism, constructive metabolism
    the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances (e.g., living tissue) from simpler ones together with the storage of energy
    malabsorption
    abnormal absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract
    type of:
    biological process, organic process
    a process occurring in living organisms
  5. noun
    the process of assimilating new ideas into an existing cognitive structure
    synonyms: acculturation
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    types:
    osmosis
    the gradual and unconscious absorption of knowledge or ideas
    type of:
    education
    the gradual process of acquiring knowledge
  6. noun
    in the theories of Jean Piaget: the application of a general schema to a particular instance
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    type of:
    developmental learning
    learning that takes place as a normal part of cognitive development
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