absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb , -ˈzȯrb \
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 , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl , -​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

As your period finishes, one of these follicles continues to grow while the others are absorbed back into your ovaries. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Stop Your Period With Birth Control," 16 Jan. 2019 Was there any Obama policy that boosted growth and jobs without substantial costs—or with costs that were absorbed fully during Mr. Obama’s years in the White House? WSJ, "Not All Deficits Spur Growth With Such Gusto," 27 Dec. 2018 Add rice and wine and cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Wild Mushroom Risotto," 20 Dec. 2018 The theory, O’Connell says, is that nicotine salts are able to travel more deeply into the lung than the freebase, where the nicotine is absorbed faster. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Juul’s nicotine salts are dominating the market — and other companies want in," 21 Nov. 2018 Their individual cells will have transporters that prevent toxins from being absorbed. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 Douglas Wiens, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, wanted to find out just how much water is absorbed this way. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Earth’s Crust Is Swallowing Way More Ocean Than We Thought," 15 Nov. 2018 Accutane is essentially a huge dose of Vitamin A that is absorbed into your blood, and much like applying a topical retinol, taking Accutane can make your skin very dry and sensitive. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "The $19 Face Cream That Got Me Through Accutane," 14 Nov. 2018 Epithelial cells act as a gateway for things to be absorbed or blocked. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "These new vape companies want you to inhale ... vitamins," 24 Oct. 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

9 Feb 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 , -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 , -ˈzȯ(ə)rb \

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 , -​ˈzȯr-​ \ 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

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