Computer Hardware Terms, Glossary and Dictionary
Generally, an adapter or adaptor is a device used to match the physical or electrical characteristics of two different things so that a connection may be made between them. In the computer hardware context, many types of adaptors are required to have systems connected with each other. For example, video adapters enable the computer to support graphics monitors, and network adapters enable a computer to attach to a network. Adapters can be built into the main circuitry of a computer or they can be separate add-ons that come in the form of expansion boards.