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

Scientists estimate that the planet can absorb about 2 billion tons of carbon annually on top of what’s naturally recycled through Earth’s natural systems. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Are We Really in Danger of the Clouds Disappearing? The New Study Explained.," 27 Feb. 2019 The mask also contains sodium hyaluronate: an ingredient comparable to hyaluronic acid, but that your skin can absorb easier. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "This $15 Overnight Face Mask Is Saving My Dry Skin This Winter," 15 Feb. 2019 The microfiber towel side of the pillowcase absorbs the moisture from not only wet hair, but also sweat and drool. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "DryZzz Allows You To Sleep With Wet Hair Without The Damp Pillowcase," 30 Jan. 2019 Most of the beating takes place off-camera from the perspective of Lenù, who absorbs Alfredo's cries for mercy and his wife's screams echoing through the church. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 Marie told me after Gumucio’s death, referring to the misery that a war reporter absorbs over time. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Hollywood Chameleon Rosamund Pike Tackles the Life Story of War Correspondent Marie Colvin," 15 Nov. 2018 Blot until the solvent is absorbed, and repeat until the stain is gone. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Vomit Stains From Carpet, Clothing, and More," 5 Mar. 2019 These days, the supply of new units is getting absorbed and the vacancy rate is falling, in part because many renters who had been looking to buy are still renting. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Butler Service and Free Cable No More? Landlords Rethink Concessions as Market Tightens," 14 Feb. 2019 The Palestinians fear the U.S. is putting pressure on host countries to absorb their refugee populations and eliminate the issue from future peace negotiations. Fox News, "Money or not, world can't drop Palestinian refugees, says UN," 27 Sep. 2018

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

20 Apr 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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