ab·​sor·​bent | \-bənt \
variants: or less commonly absorbant

Definition of absorbent 

: able to absorb as absorbent as a sponge

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Other Words from absorbent

absorbent or less commonly absorbant noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for absorbent


bibulous, spongy, thirsty



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Examples of absorbent in a Sentence

highly absorbent material that is really good for wiping off automobiles

Recent Examples on the Web

Washcloths need to be a lot of things — soft enough to wash your face with or wipe away sweat at the gym, durable enough to clean your house with, and absorbent enough to do all of the above. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "3,000 People Swear By These 66 Cent Amazon Washcloths," 9 Aug. 2018 Made of clay or other absorbent material, these bombs are more like cocoons, protecting and hydrating their contents until the seeds can germinate and break free. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "7 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 10 May 2018 That means the soil can afford to be a bit more absorbent, cutting down on the overall flood risk. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "From Houston to Corpus Christi, torrential rain may fall at times for days," 18 June 2018 Researchers at Deakin University in Australia have created an incredibly absorbent sponge material that could be used to clean future oil spills. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Ridiculously Absorbent Sponge Could Help Soak Up Oil Spills," 1 Dec. 2015 As well-wishers continued to gather at an impromptu memorial near the scene of the attack, hazardous material cleanup teams wearing respirators and jumpsuits were using absorbent powder to remove bloodstains from the sidewalk. Dan Bilefsky And Ian Austen, New York Times, "Toronto Van Attack Suspect Expressed Anger at Women," 24 Apr. 2018 According to a news release, Crawford’s wound dressing portfolio includes its highly absorbent KerraMax Care range as well as KerraFoam foam and KerraCell antimicrobial gelling fiber. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio wound care leader Acelity acquires Crawford Healthcare," 8 June 2018 While the water cools, take a few moments to reflect on your intentions and begin transferring your energy into the absorbent tea leaves. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Your Essential Guide to Tasseography, the Practice of Reading Tea Leaves," 7 May 2018 Instead, use absorbent nighttime diapers and thick diaper cream to protect your baby's skin. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Baby sleep: 7 tips for surviving the first few months," 12 July 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.

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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"

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Statistics for absorbent

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absorbent

The first known use of absorbent was in 1694

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English Language Learners Definition of absorbent

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


ab·​sor·​bent | \əb-ˈsȯr-bənt, -ˈzȯr-\

Kids Definition of absorbent

: able to draw in or soak up absorbent paper towels


variants: also absorbant \-​bənt \

Medical Definition of absorbent 

: able to absorb absorbent gauze

Other Words from absorbent

absorbent also absorbant noun

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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

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