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Joseph Thomas James Hewlett was a 19th-century English curate and schoolmaster who supplemented his insufficient income by writing novels. In Parsons and Widows, in which the author disguises himself as "the Curate of Mosbury," Hewlett provided us with the first known use of "imbibition" to refer to a person’s drinking, in the phrase "imbibition of a little strong beer." Until then, "imbibition" had been used scientifically to refer to various processes of soaking and absorption, or figuratively, to the taking in of knowledge. (The word is still used scientifically today to refer to the taking up of fluid.) "Imbibition" traces back to Latin imbibere, a verb whose meaning "to drink in" includes absorption of liquids, consuming drink, and appropriating ideas.
First Known Use of imbibition
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