1 In physiology, the incorporation of new materials into the internal structure of an organism.
2 In sociology, a process in which a minority group adopts the values and behaviour patterns of a majority group, and eventually become absorbed into the majority group. Compare accommodation.
3 A cognitive process in which children incorporate new experiences into their present interpretation of their world. The new experiences become part of the child's current conceptual schema, which therefore becomes fuller and more elaborate. If the new experiences cannot be assimilated, then the conceptual schema is changed (see accommodation).