ab·​sorp·​tion | \əb-ˈsȯrp-shən, -ˈzȯrp-\

Definition of absorption 

1a : the process of absorbing something or of being absorbed absorption of water — compare adsorption

b : interception of radiant energy or sound waves

2 : entire occupation of the mind his absorption in his work

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Other Words from absorption

absorptive \-​tiv \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for absorption


attention, concentration, engrossment, enthrallment, immersion



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Examples of absorption in a Sentence

forgot to return the phone call due to his absorption in setting up the new computer system

Recent Examples on the Web

Welcome to the generation best known for its economic uncertainty, digital fluency, self-absorption and apparent affection for avocado toast. Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek, "The Oldest Millennials Were Born in 1981. Are They Even Really Millennials?," 20 Mar. 2018 Part of his process is patting on his products, as opposed to rubbing them on, to help increase their absorption and stimulate blood flow. Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Group Monsta X Reveals the Skin-Care Tips That Make Their Complexions "Shine Forever"," 27 July 2018 The child’s wonder, her simple, unfiltered absorption of the world’s mystery and awe: This is what a psychedelic experience can mimic in a way. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Why We Should Say Yes to Drugs," 25 May 2018 One particular sticking point has been a complicated new test to determine skin absorption -- a requirement that doesn't apply to products already on the market, Roberson said. Jack Kaskey, chicagotribune.com, "Your outdated sunscreen exposes you to needless cancer risk," 30 May 2018 Repeat this several times until the rate of absorption slows and your times become consistent. Julie Monahan, Good Housekeeping, "10 Easy Soil Tests," 9 Sep. 2015 The college is described with a devout absorption that casts the same pure spell as the school stories of one’s childhood reading. WSJ, "Five Best: Laura Thompson," 30 Mar. 2018 Dependent on crash pads, and seemingly able to be wherever something was happening and enrich it, Basquiat exhibited a thrilling knack for absorption and reconstitution. Robert Abele, chicagotribune.com, "'Boom for Real' review: Jean-Michel Basquiat, before he was famous," 19 June 2018 Its lyrics pit complacent self-absorption against the grim reality of police brutality by juxtaposing the urban privilege of new bike lanes with the death of Freddy Gray at the hands of Baltimore police. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Music / Post No Bills Stephen Malkmus addresses the politics of today while Portland band Lithics summon the postpunk of the past," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absorption.' 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 absorption

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for absorption

borrowed from French & Late Latin; French, borrowed from Late Latin absorptiōn-, absorptiō, from absorbēre "to absorb" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for absorption

The first known use of absorption was in 1597

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More Definitions for absorption


ab·​sorp·​tion | \əb-ˈsȯrp-shən, -ˈzȯrp-\

Kids Definition of absorption

1 : the process of drawing in or soaking up : absorbing or being absorbed the absorption of water by soil

2 : complete attention


ab·​sorp·​tion | \əb-ˈsȯrp-shən, -ˈzȯrp- \

Medical Definition of absorption 

1 : the process of absorbing or of being absorbed absorption of nourishment in the small intestine — compare adsorption

2 : interception of radiant energy or sound waves



Legal Definition of absorption 

: the application to the states of rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution while Powell [v. Alabama] was sometimes described as having absorbed the right to counsel, the Court there clearly limited any such absorption— W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel

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Comments on absorption

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living or existing for a long time

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