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)
Full Definition of absorb
1 : to take in and make part of an existent whole <the capacity of China to absorb invaders>
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>
3 : to engage or engross wholly <absorbed in thought>
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>
Examples of absorb
a fabric that absorbs sweat
The walls are made of a material that absorbs sound.
absorbing heat from the sun
She is good at absorbing information.
He has retained the values that he absorbed as a young man.
a country that has absorbed many immigrants
smaller countries invaded and absorbed by bigger ones
His interest in photography absorbs him completely.
I was so absorbed by her story that I lost track of time.
Origin 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
ABSORB Defined for Kids
Definition of absorb
1 : to take in or swallow up <A sponge absorbs water.>
2 : to hold the complete attention of <She was absorbed by the movie.>
3 : to receive without giving back <The walls of the theater absorb sound.>
Medical Definition of absorb
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: 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>
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).