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 With the reset in the market, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to absorb DTC brands and their mobile-first customers in stores. Jill Griffin, Forbes, "To Be Successful, Fail Often," 25 Feb. 2021 But both posts led to critical comments, considering that Wallen barely had time to absorb any of the consequences. Emily Yahr, Anchorage Daily News, "A racist slur, a groundbreaking coming out and country music’s future hanging in the balance," 12 Feb. 2021 While there was admittedly a lot to absorb during the hour-long HBO special, there was one important detail many viewers seemed to have missed. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "The Detail In Jules’ Euphoria Special That You Might Have Missed," 25 Jan. 2021 The turbulent matter bouncing around behind the shock wave also has more time to absorb neutrinos. Quanta Magazine, "Secret Ingredient Found to Power Supernovas," 21 Jan. 2021 That's thanks to the urban heat-island effect, in which buildings and roads readily absorb the sun's energy and release it well into the night. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Forecast Calls for More Rime Ice," 8 Jan. 2021 Others survive in the air because wildfire particulates can absorb the sun's otherwise lethal ultraviolet radiation, the scientists said. Joseph Serna, Star Tribune, "Microbes spread by wildfires," 4 Feb. 2021 Certain lipids are sometimes used as ingredients in vitamin supplements to help the body absorb the nutrients. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 vaccine ingredients can trigger allergic reactions, but officials say it's rare," 23 Jan. 2021 Raw tiger nuts are also higher in anti-nutrients like phytates, oxalates, saponins, and tannins that may reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals your gut can absorb. Stephanie Eckelkamp, Good Housekeeping, "9 Ways to Eat Tiger Nuts, the Fiber-Filled Superfood That Belongs in Your Pantry," 21 Jan. 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

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Absorb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absorb. Accessed 8 Mar. 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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