Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

absorb

play
verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈsȯrb, -ˈzȯrb\

Simple Definition of absorb

  • : to take in (something, such as a liquid) in a natural or gradual way

  • : to draw in (heat, light, energy, etc.)

  • : to learn (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of absorb

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to take in and make part of an existent whole <the capacity of China to absorb invaders>

  3. 2 a :  to suck up or take up <a sponge absorbs water> <charcoal absorbs gas> <plant roots absorb water> b :  to take in :  acquire, learn <convictions absorbed in youth — M. R. Cohen> c :  use up, consume <the fever absorbed her strength>

  4. 3 :  to engage or engross wholly <absorbed in thought>

  5. 4 a (1) :  to receive without recoil or echo <provided with a sound-absorbing surface> (2) :  endure, sustain <absorbing hardships> (3) :  assume, bear <the expenses were absorbed by the company> b :  to transform (radiant energy) into a different form especially with a resulting rise in temperature <the earth absorbs the sun's rays>

absorbability

play \əb-ˌsȯr-bə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌzȯr-\ noun

absorbable

play \əb-ˈsȯr-bə-bəl, -ˈzȯr-\ adjective

absorber

noun

Examples of absorb in a sentence

  1. a fabric that absorbs sweat

  2. The walls are made of a material that absorbs sound.

  3. absorbing heat from the sun

  4. She is good at absorbing information.

  5. He has retained the values that he absorbed as a young man.

  6. a country that has absorbed many immigrants

  7. smaller countries invaded and absorbed by bigger ones

  8. His interest in photography absorbs him completely.

  9. I was so absorbed by her story that I lost track of time.



Origin and Etymology of absorb

Anglo-French asorbir to swallow up, from Latin absorbēre, from ab- + sorbēre to suck up; akin to Lithuanian surbti to sip, Greek rophein to gulp down


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

Rhymes with absorb


ABSORB Defined for Kids

absorb

play
verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈsȯrb, -ˈzȯrb\

Definition of absorb for Students

absorbed

absorbing

  1. 1 :  to take in or swallow up <A sponge absorbs water.>

  2. 2 :  to hold the complete attention of <She was absorbed by the movie.>

  3. 3 :  to receive without giving back <The walls of the theater absorb sound.>




Medical Dictionary

absorb

play play
transitive verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈsȯ(ə)rb, -ˈzȯ(ə)rb\

Medical Definition of absorb

  1. 1:  to take up especially by capillary, osmotic, solvent, or chemical action <surgical sutures which can be absorbed by the body> <the blood in the lungs absorbs oxygen>

  2. 2:  to transform (radiant energy) into a different form usually with a resulting rise in temperature <chlorophyll reflects green light and absorbs the other colors of light>

absorbable

\əb-ˈsȯr-bə-bəl, -ˈzȯr-\play play adjective

absorber

noun



Law Dictionary

absorb

transitive verb ab·sorb

Legal Definition of absorb

  1. 1 :  to make (a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) applicable to the states

  2. 2a :  to bear or assume the burden of <expenses were absorbed by the company> b :  to lessen the tax liability for <has other losses to absorb the income — D. Q. Posin>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up absorb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent megillah rebellion interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ