im·​bi·​bi·​tion | \ ˌim-bə-ˈbi-shən How to pronounce imbibition (audio) \

Definition of imbibition

: the act or action of imbibing especially : the taking up of fluid by a colloidal system resulting in swelling

Other Words from imbibition

imbibitional \ ˌim-​bə-​ˈbish-​nəl How to pronounce imbibition (audio) , -​ˈbi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Did you know?

Joseph Thomas James Hewlett was a 19th-century English curate and schoolmaster who supplemented his insufficient income by writing novels. In Parsons and Widows, in which the author disguises himself as "the Curate of Mosbury," Hewlett provided us with the first known use of "imbibition" to refer to a person’s drinking, in the phrase "imbibition of a little strong beer." Until then, "imbibition" had been used scientifically to refer to various processes of soaking and absorption, or figuratively, to the taking in of knowledge. (The word is still used scientifically today to refer to the taking up of fluid.) "Imbibition" traces back to Latin imbibere, a verb whose meaning "to drink in" includes absorption of liquids, consuming drink, and appropriating ideas.

Examples of imbibition in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The prohibition also extends to Olympic athletes, who organizers said are welcome to drink alone in their own rooms, but are otherwise barred from imbibition. Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imbibition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of imbibition

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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imbibition process

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Cite this Entry

“Imbibition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for imbibition


im·​bi·​bi·​tion | \ ˌim-bə-ˈbish-ən How to pronounce imbibition (audio) \

Medical Definition of imbibition

: the action or process of assimilating, taking into solution, or taking in liquid especially : the taking up of fluid by a colloidal system resulting in swelling

Other Words from imbibition

imbibe \ im-​ˈbīb How to pronounce imbibition (audio) \ verb imbibed; imbibing

More from Merriam-Webster on imbibition Encyclopedia article about imbibition


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