verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈsrb, -ˈzrb\

: 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

transitive verb
:  to take in and make part of an existent whole <the capacity of China to absorb invaders>
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>
:  to engage or engross wholly <absorbed in thought>
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>
ab·sorb·abil·i·ty \əb-ˌsr-bə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌzr-\ noun
ab·sorb·able \əb-ˈsr-bə-bəl, -ˈzr-\ adjective
ab·sorb·er noun

Examples of ABSORB

  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 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

Related to ABSORB

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

alkali, cation, decant, hygroscopic, isotope, oxidize, slurry, solute, viscous

Rhymes with ABSORB

ABSORBABLE Defined for Kids


verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈsrb, -ˈzrb\

Definition of ABSORB for Kids

:  to take in or swallow up <A sponge absorbs water.>
:  to hold the complete attention of <She was absorbed by the movie.>
:  to receive without giving back <The walls of the theater absorb sound.>
Medical Dictionary


transitive verb ab·sorb \əb-ˈs(ə)rb, -ˈz(ə)rb\

Medical Definition of ABSORB

:  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>
:  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>
ab·sorb·able \əb-ˈsr-bə-bəl, -ˈzr-\ adjective
ab·sorb·er noun


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