absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \
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 How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorb (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The towels absorb the moisture and help remove the wrinkles. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Hearing aids and masks," 1 Jan. 2021 Compared to Titan’s haze particles, these ice particles should absorb less incoming solar energy and be less effective at emitting energy back to space. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Like Titan, Pluto’s atmosphere is hazy, but for a different reason," 28 Dec. 2020 Engineering, design & general company operations absorb vast majority of my mind & are the fundamental limitation on doing more. Niluksi Koswanage, Bloomberg.com, "Musk Says It’s ‘Impossible’ to Take Tesla Private, Mulls New IPO," 25 Dec. 2020 Best of all, the Nordic Pop has an airtight seal, so your ice won’t absorb weird smells while in the freezer. Popular Science, "We’ve rounded up 21 deals on stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank," 15 Dec. 2020 Your dry shampoo will absorb excess oils from the scalp and may also provide texture and volume to fine hair, while your dry conditioner can detangle and de-frizz, adding softness and shine to your hair from mid-shaft down to your ends. Danielle Gray, Allure, "How to Use Dry Conditioner on Your Hair," 24 Nov. 2020 But certain pigments can absorb it, drain off some of its energy, and re-emit what remains as a color that people can see. Cara Giaimo New York Times, Star Tribune, "Platypuses glow under blacklight. We have no idea why.," 21 Nov. 2020 In an urban setting, heritage trees absorb polluting gases, prevent soil erosion, especially along urban water bodies, and serve as a habitat for biodiversity, according to a 2020 report on heritage trees of urban India. Supriya Dedgaonkar, Quartz India, "One Indian state is preserving its century-old trees with heritage tags," 17 Nov. 2020 The organization will absorb the cost of testing for family members of staff. David Moore, Dallas News, "Why Jerry Jones ramped up Cowboys' COVID-19 measures, created bubble for nearly 80 staff members," 17 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for absorb

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for absorb

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Absorb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absorb. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for absorb

absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -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 How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯ(ə)rb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \

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 How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorb (audio) \ 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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Comments on absorb

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