ab·​sor·​bent | \ əb-ˈsȯr-bənt How to pronounce absorbent (audio) , -ˈzȯr-\
variants: or less commonly absorbant

Definition of absorbent

: able to absorb as absorbent as a sponge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from absorbent

absorbent or less commonly absorbant noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for absorbent


bibulous, spongy, thirsty



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of absorbent in a Sentence

highly absorbent material that is really good for wiping off automobiles

Recent Examples on the Web

The inventor of the Wee Wee Pad—absorbent pads designed to be urinated on by dogs—is asking $39.95 million for his deluxe Fifth Avenue apartment. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Wee Wee Pad Inventor Lists Fifth Avenue Spread for $39.95 Million," 9 Apr. 2019 In this backwards version, a large-scale object is placed within a hydrogel (the more absorbent the better). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Honey, I Shrunk Everything: MIT Scientists Can Shrink Objects to the Nanoscale," 18 Dec. 2018 Because our technology is moisture-wicking, waterproof, super absorbent, and leak resistant, the fluids are drawn into the layers of the [underwear]. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "I Tried Free Bleeding in Period-Proof Running Shorts," 30 Oct. 2018 Through soliciting donations and selling coffee to commuters, Mr. Leccese raised $4,500 for the kits, which include trauma shears, tourniquets, gloves, highly absorbent gauze and an instruction card. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "In Age of Mass Shootings, Boy Scout Projects Hope to Keep Schools Safe," 6 Jan. 2019 The new material was originally synthesized as an absorbent powder. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Ridiculously Absorbent Sponge Could Help Soak Up Oil Spills," 1 Dec. 2015 Blot with an absorbent cloth until the liquid is absorbed. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Absolutely Everything," 19 Nov. 2018 Linen’s temperature regulation actually stems from its fibers, which are longer than cotton, making the fabric more absorbent. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "Why Linen Sheets Are Worth Keeping on Through Winter," 21 Dec. 2018 Start by blotting as much spilled wine as possible, even standing on absorbent clothes if necessary. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Absolutely Everything," 19 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absorbent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of absorbent

1694, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for absorbent

borrowed from Latin absorbent-, absorbens, present participle of absorbēre "to absorb"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about absorbent

Statistics for absorbent

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absorbent

The first known use of absorbent was in 1694

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for absorbent



English Language Learners Definition of absorbent

: able to take in and hold liquid : able to absorb liquid


ab·​sor·​bent | \ əb-ˈsȯr-bənt How to pronounce absorbent (audio) , -ˈzȯr-\

Kids Definition of absorbent

: able to draw in or soak up absorbent paper towels


variants: also absorbant \ -​bənt How to pronounce absorbant (audio) \

Medical Definition of absorbent

: able to absorb absorbent gauze

Other Words from absorbent

absorbent also absorbant noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on absorbent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absorbent

Spanish Central: Translation of absorbent

Nglish: Translation of absorbent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on absorbent

What made you want to look up absorbent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!