Definition of absorb
1a : to take in (something, such as water) in a natural or gradual way a sponge absorbs water charcoal absorbs gas plant roots absorb waterb : to take in (knowledge, attitudes, etc.) : acquire, learn … convictions absorbed in youth … — M. R. Cohenc : use up, consume The fever absorbed her strength. His work absorbs all his time and attention.
2 : to take in and make part of an existent whole the capacity of a country to absorb new immigrants
3 : to engage or engross wholly an interest that absorbs her completely absorbed in thought
4a (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.
absorbabilityplay \əb-ˌsȯr-bə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌzȯr-\ noun
absorbableplay \əb-ˈsȯr-bə-bəl, -ˈzȯr-\ adjective
Examples of absorb in a Sentence
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.
Recent Examples of absorb from the Web
But an analysis of state Medicaid programs by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Kansas and Missouri might have more difficulty absorbing cuts than other states. ‘
And as the airlines and airports absorb the higher costs of complying with the new rules, the industry officials said, ticket prices could increase.
How your partner takes the information, uses it, absorbs it, and proceeds going forward says everything about him or her.
These systemic herbicides are absorbed through the leaves and spread to kill the entire plant.
The rest was being absorbed by the ocean and the land surface, in roughly equal amounts.
At his farm, Travis pointed to strips of grass strategic located among a hill of soybeans used to absorb rain and keep from getting into a creek.
The puffball tree absorbs chlorine from the air and sodium through its roots and creates salt that animals get from the leaves.
As a child, Rosalie absorbed the words of Thomas Wolfe, William Butler Yeats and other great writers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absorb'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of absorb
borrowed from Middle French assorber, absorber, asorbir, absorbir, going back to Old French, borrowed (with conjugation changes) from Latin absorbēre, from ab- ab- + sorbēre “to suck up, draw in, engulf,” going back to Indo-European *sṛbh-eii̯e-, probably re-formed from *srobh-eii̯e-, iterative derivative from the verb base *srebh- “suck up, drink noisily”; akin to Greek rophéō, ropheîn “to drink in gulps,” Armenian arbi “drank,” Lithuanian srebiù, srė̃bti “to gulp,” Old Russian sereblyu, serebati
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
ABSORB Defined for Kids
Definition of absorb for Students
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
Legal Definition of absorb
1 : to make (a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) applicable to the states
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
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