early 15c., from Middle French absorber (Old French assorbir, 13c.), from Latin absorbere "to swallow up," from ab- "from" (see ab-) + sorbere "suck in," from PIE root *srebh- "to suck, absorb" (cf. Armenian arbi "I drank," Greek rhopheo "to sup greedily up, gulp down," Lithuanian srebiu "to drink greedily"). Figurative meaning "to completely grip (one's) attention" is from 1763. Related: Absorbed; absorbing.
absorb ab·sorb (əb-sôrb', -zôrb')
v. ab·sorbed, ab·sorb·ing, ab·sorbs
To take in by absorption.
To reduce the intensity of transmitted light.