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 Unseen for nearly 20 years, its two projections on a revolving screen, one side mirrored, absorb and reflect illusory fragments of imagery inside a darkened room. Los Angeles Times, "Review: LACMA reopens with six shows that hint to what the future museum will be like," 1 Apr. 2021 Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, unveiled a plan to address climate change Saturday, vowing to planting 10 billion trees to absorb carbon and make half of the country’s power from renewable sources by 2030. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: China's coal use is soaring," 29 Mar. 2021 This gives the potatoes time to absorb and incorporate all that hot cream. Katy Severson, chicagotribune.com, "How to make mashed potatoes," 28 Mar. 2021 This material will have a loop pile construction (as Anderson pointed out above), which helps absorb sweat away from the body and provide cooling comfort. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "Best sweat shorts for men and women of 2021, according to experts," 23 Mar. 2021 We are supposed to absorb the lessons from both and use them to become better, smarter people. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Ohio State's E.J. Liddell doesn't deserve abuse from sick 'fans' after NCAA Tournament loss," 20 Mar. 2021 Studies show that a bit of oil helps your body absorb the vitamins and carotenoid antioxidants from the vegetables). Washington Post, "Which fruits and vegetables should count toward your ‘5 a day’? New study has answers.," 18 Mar. 2021 The ability to host games helped to absorb a year of loss for a city dependent on tourism and potentially bolstered Orlando’s bid to become a World Cup host city in 2026. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Amid pandemic, Orlando bolsters international soccer image," 12 Mar. 2021 Some defense experts understandably worry that China will absorb Taiwan and impose an embargo on TSMC chips, which are used in U.S. fighter jets. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Semiconductor Shortage," 12 Mar. 2021

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Absorb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absorb. Accessed 11 Apr. 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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