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 absorbability (audio) , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorbable (audio) , -​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

Unaltered natural landscapes help contain global warming because air pollution with heat-trapping greenhouse gases isn’t emitted and natural vegetation absorbs and stores carbon. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Development devours U.S. natural landscape at rate of 2 football fields per minute, study finds," 6 Aug. 2019 The Brewers have room to absorb some of Leake’s contract and could get a slightly above league average starter (103 ERA+) without having to surrender anything beyond a low-level prospect. Mitchell Gladstone, SI.com, "Five Under-the-Radar Deals for Contenders to Make Before the Trade Deadline," 29 July 2019 The simple truth is that by the time the Mueller report emerged, enough Americans had already absorbed and evaluated each new damaging revelation about Trump’s misconduct or his team’s Russian contacts. David French, National Review, "Today, Impeachment Died Another Death," 24 July 2019 On the other hand, soil tends to dry out quickly near pavement, which absorbs and radiates heat. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Mistakes you’re probably making when watering the garden," 23 July 2019 Coworkers leave and their duties get absorbed and redistributed, either temporarily or permanently. Kathleen Corlett, Woman's Day, "How to Ask for a Promotion and Actually Get It," 23 July 2019 The most interesting ability here is Kinetic Grasp, which allows Sigma to absorb any damage and add it to their shield. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "New Overwatch hero Sigma has arrived. What to know about abilities, origin and more," 23 July 2019 The room had numerous windows as well as a wooden table and other decorative pieces of furniture, meaning the potential explosion would be significantly reduced as the energy of the blast would be absorbed and dissipated. Albinko Hasic, Time, "A Group of German Leaders Tried to Kill Hitler in 1944. Here’s Why They Failed," 19 July 2019 The Farewell was filmed largely in Changchun and Wang approaches the setting with a warm eye: The movie incorporates numerous panoramic shots of the city, the effect at once absorbing and disorienting. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Can a Film Be a Love Letter to a Country?," 17 July 2019

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

10 Aug 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 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 absorbable (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorbable (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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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

Comments on absorb

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