ab·​sorp·​tion | \ əb-ˈsȯrp-shən How to pronounce absorption (audio) , -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

Other Words from absorption

absorptive \ əb-​ˈsȯrp-​tiv How to pronounce absorption (audio) , -​ˈzȯrp-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for absorption



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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 Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer have identified three activities that obstruct self-compassion: self-criticism, self-isolation and self-absorption. Gregory Stebbins, Forbes, 16 May 2022 The woman’s self-absorption repeatedly put her son in peril. John Domini, Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Yet Washington's self-absorption, and spot at the confluence of the profound and opposing political forces rocking the United States, meant that life went on as normal in the nation's capital, in all its polarized and often absurd glory. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 John Kerry’s lament that war in Ukraine would damage the climate may be the last word on political self-absorption. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 The case for the prosecution has been her snobbery, self-absorption, humorlessness, conservatism and overweening privilege. New York Times, 23 Dec. 2021 Garfield nails the sometimes fortifying, sometimes comical self-absorption of an artist convinced of his own unrecognized genius. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2021 Justin Lang brings just the right amount of vanity, self-absorption and immaturity to his character, Prince. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Sep. 2021 There’s a lot of Mindy in Devi, but a later plot that stems from Devi’s self-absorption bogs down the second half of the season with its suggestion that the show won’t let its protagonist mature, using her grief as an excuse. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for absorption

Time Traveler

The first known use of absorption was in 1597

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Dictionary Entries Near absorption



absorption band

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Statistics for absorption

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Absorption.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absorption. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for absorption


ab·​sorp·​tion | \ əb-ˈsȯrp-shən How to pronounce absorption (audio) , -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- How to pronounce absorption (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on absorption

Nglish: Translation of absorption for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absorption for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about absorption


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