absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb, -ˈzȯrb \
absorbed; absorbing; absorbs

Definition of absorb

transitive verb

1a : to take in (something, such as water) in a natural or gradual way a sponge absorbs water charcoal absorbs gas plant roots absorb water
b : to take in (knowledge, attitudes, etc.) : acquire, learn … convictions absorbed in youth …— M. R. Cohen
c : 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.

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Other Words from absorb

absorbability \ əb-​ˌsȯr-​bə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl , -​ˈzȯr-​ \ adjective
absorber noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The first album was self-absorbed and autobiographical, so the title was really obvious to me. Ryan Cahill, Teen Vogue, "Empress Of's Second Album "Us" Is a Dreamy Celebration of Her Family, Friends, and Community," 22 Oct. 2018 Paravan’s sound-absorbing panels come in a variety of shapes and configurations, from semicircles to straight lines. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "A colorful new take on the cubicle," 22 Oct. 2018 Weeds, like most plants, are in the energy-absorbing mode during the fall. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "6 Tips to Get Your Lawn Ready for Fall," 24 Aug. 2018 Skyscrapers, built on shock-absorbing systems, are designed to sway in an earthquake instead of toppling. Ken Moritsugu, The Seattle Times, "Deadly month: Japan’s weather-related deaths top 300 in July," 30 July 2018 Emissions from the fires were contributing to global warming, it was feared, and the harvesting of wood for cooking was helping to diminish forests, one of nature’s carbon-absorbing bulwarks against greenhouse gases. Sara Morrison, USA TODAY, "In developing world, an expensive push to reduce cooking fire deaths falls short," 13 July 2018 With a superlight yet moisturizing texture, this formulation includes brightening, antioxidant-rich rose hip oil, anti-inflammatory, hydrating camellia oil and fast-absorbing moisture-barrier protecting meadow-foam seed oil. Janna Mandell, SFChronicle.com, "Summer skin-care solutions by microclimate," 12 July 2018 During an acoustic endurance event, engineers shut the 18-ish-inch-thick door, filled with sound-absorbing sand, that rolls closed in front of the spacecraft. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Inside the Test Chamber for NASA's Astronaut Vehicle Double," 12 July 2018 Some neighborhoods have more dark, heat-absorbing surfaces and are particularly hot. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "NOAA ‘heat island’ campaign to map which areas in D.C. and Baltimore swelter the most," 11 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of absorb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for 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-eii̯̯e-, probably re-formed from *srobh-eii̯̯e-, 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

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Statistics for absorb

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absorb

The first known use of absorb was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for absorb

absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb, -ˈzȯrb\
absorbed; absorbing

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.
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯ(ə)rb, -ˈzȯ(ə)rb \

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

Other Words from absorb

absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl , -​ˈzȯr-​ \ adjective
absorber noun
ab·​sorb

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on absorb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absorb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absorb

Spanish Central: Translation of absorb

Nglish: Translation of absorb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absorb for Arabic Speakers

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