v. as·sim·i·lat·ed, as·sim·i·lat·ing, as·sim·i·lates
a. To consume and incorporate (nutrients) into the body after digestion.
b. To transform (food) into living tissue by the process of anabolism; metabolize constructively.
2. To incorporate and absorb into the mind: assimilate knowledge.
3. To make similar; cause to resemble.
4. Linguistics To alter (a sound) by assimilation.
5. To absorb (immigrants or a culturally distinct group) into the prevailing culture.
To become assimilated.
[Middle English assimilaten, from Latin assimilāre, assimilāt-, to make similar to : ad-, ad- + similis, like; see sem-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.