Definition of activity of daily living in English:

activity of daily living


(also activity for daily living)
  • (Chiefly in plural) any of a number of routine tasks and functions a person must be able to perform in order to maintain independence; abbreviated ADL.

    A distinction is often made between basic activities, such as feeding oneself, personal hygiene, and continence, and those related to living independently within a community, such as shopping, managing money, and household chores (sometimes called instrumental activities of daily living, and abbreviated IADL).


1940s; earliest use found in The New York Times.