im·​bibe | \ im-ˈbīb How to pronounce imbibe (audio) \
imbibed; imbibing

Definition of imbibe

transitive verb

1a : drink
b : to take in or up a sponge imbibes moisture
2a : to receive into the mind and retain imbibe moral principles
b : to assimilate or take into solution
3 archaic : soak, steep

intransitive verb

2a : to take in liquid
b : to absorb or assimilate moisture, gas, light, or heat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from imbibe

imbiber noun

Examples of imbibe in a Sentence

She imbibed vast quantities of coffee. She never imbibes but isn't offended when others do.
Recent Examples on the Web People imbibe these things -- think of your morning cup of coffee. Katie Hunt, CNN, 11 Oct. 2021 For The Times) There are many ways to imbibe in Vegas. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2021 In the meantime, there is already a great wine selection to imbibe at Hazel Hill. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, 6 May 2021 Guests can imbibe gin- and bourbon-based cocktails at the Fed, a lounge reminiscent of the city’s Jazz Age bars, and enjoy family-style dishes like roasted porchetta and cioppino stew prepared by chef Stephen Bukoff at the Italian restaurant Grana. New York Times, 24 June 2021 There was only one place visitors could imbibe before the new law: the NuWu Cannabis Tasting Room, a 16,000-square-foot cannabis store owned by the Paiute Tribe just north of Downtown Las Vegas. Will Yakowicz, Forbes, 11 June 2021 Safeguards can be put in place to make sure no one customer can imbibe too much. Christopher Arnott,, 4 June 2021 With people gearing up for a more social summer, everyone’s looking for easy ways to imbibe in the sunshine. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Their role in Cuban cocktail culture took shape in the 1920s during Prohibition; a time when Cuba became a hot spot for American tourists looking to imbibe. Tyler Zielinski, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Apr. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of imbibe

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for imbibe

Middle English enbiben to absorb, cause to absorb, from Latin imbibere to drink in, absorb, from in- + bibere to drink — more at potable

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best travel mugs of 2021.

Learn More About imbibe

Time Traveler for imbibe

Time Traveler

The first known use of imbibe was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near imbibe




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for imbibe

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imbibe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for imbibe



English Language Learners Definition of imbibe

: to drink (something)
: to drink alcohol

More from Merriam-Webster on imbibe

Nglish: Translation of imbibe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imbibe for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!