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-​ How to pronounce absorbable (audio) \ 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 That chemical, sulfoxaflor, is absorbed into plants, where it can be ingested by pollinating bees. BostonGlobe.com, "Beekeepers confront the EPA over pesticides - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 That chemical, sulfoxaflor, is absorbed into plants, where it can be ingested by pollinating bees. New York Times, "Beekeepers Confront the E.P.A. Over Pesticides," 12 Sep. 2019 These chemicals, which can be directly applied to seeds and are absorbed into plant tissue as crops grow, were thought to be less toxic to vertebrates than other pesticides. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "Migrating Birds May Be Collateral Damage for a Popular Pesticide," 12 Sep. 2019 Alcohol is water-soluble and cannabis is not, meaning alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly whereas pot edibles and beverages are metabolized much later in the digestive process. Kristine Owram, chicagotribune.com, "Scientists are racing to make pot like booze so you can drink it," 6 Sep. 2019 That 1997 deal ends in 2047, when Hong Kong will be likely absorbed into Xi Jinping's authoritarian China. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "After a summer of being tear gassed, can Hong Kong protesters go back to being students?," 5 Sep. 2019 These powers were conferred upon them by the Wu Xing: five shards that are absorbed into the body when touched. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Fight scenes are the only bright spot in grim, joyless Wu Assassins," 19 Aug. 2019 Mitchell’s last title at the company was head of VR product at Facebook, a change made in November of last year that was just the latest sign that Oculus was slowly but surely being more formally absorbed into its parent company. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is leaving the company after seven years," 13 Aug. 2019 The agreement can be extended on a month-to-month basis if needed and the revenue will be absorbed into the airport’s general fund. Daily Pilot, "Audi Fletcher Jones dealership to replace former Ganahl lumberyard in Costa Mesa," 13 Aug. 2019

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

2 Nov 2019

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absorb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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