Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ab-sawrp-shuh n, -zawrp-] /æbˈsɔrp ʃən, -ˈzɔrp-/
the act of absorbing.
the state or process of being absorbed.
assimilation; incorporation:
the absorption of small farms into one big one.
uptake of substances by a tissue, as of nutrients through the wall of the intestine.
a taking in or reception by molecular or chemical action, as of gases or liquids.
Physics. the removal of energy or particles from a beam by the medium through which the beam propagates.
complete attention or preoccupation; deep engrossment:
absorption in one's work.
Origin of absorption
1590-1600; < Latin absorptiōn- (stem of absorptiō), equivalent to absorpt(us), past participle of absorbēre to absorb + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
hyperabsorption, noun
interabsorption, noun
nonabsorption, noun
overabsorption, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for absorption
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He wondered whether he would always be in this state of absorption.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Yet not so much a slave to it, she distinguished, as to Martin's absorption in its development.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • There was not a trace of sentimental expression to this absorption.

  • Here the first step is absorption and expansion, not precipitation.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • Through the absorption of other lines it reached an extent of over 7,000 miles.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • The only hope of the Irish people is their absorption in America.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • It was his dissipation; there was something vaguely perilous in the absorption of it.

    The Trimming of Goosie James Hopper
  • Who knows but even thus is his absorption in God accomplished?

  • If his absorption was simply in his flying machine, she could wait.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for absorption


/əbˈsɔːpʃən; -ˈzɔːp-/
the process of absorbing or the state of being absorbed
  1. normal assimilation by the tissues of the products of digestion
  2. the passage of a gas, fluid, drug, etc, through the mucous membranes or skin
(physics) a reduction of the intensity of any form of radiated energy as a result of energy conversion in a medium, such as the conversion of sound energy into heat
(immunol) the process of removing superfluous antibodies or antigens from a mixture using a reagent
Derived Forms
absorptive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin absorptiōn-, from absorbēre to absorb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for absorption

1590s, from Latin absorptionem (nominative absorptio), noun of action from past participle stem of absorbere (see absorb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
absorption in Medicine

absorption ab·sorp·tion (əb-sôrp'shən, -zôrp'-)
The taking in or incorporation of something, such as a gas, a liquid, light, or heat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
absorption in Science
  1. Biology The movement of a substance, such as a liquid or solute, across a cell membrane by means of diffusion or osmosis.

  2. Chemistry The process by which one substance, such as a solid or liquid, takes up another substance, such as a liquid or gas, through minute pores or spaces between its molecules. A paper towel takes up water, and water takes up carbon dioxide, by absorption. Compare adsorption.

  3. Physics The taking up and storing of energy, such as radiation, light, or sound, without it being reflected or transmitted. During absorption, the energy may change from one form into another. When radiation strikes the electrons in an atom, the electrons move to a higher orbit or state of excitement by absorption of the radiation's energy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for absorption

Difficulty index for absorption

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for absorption

Scrabble Words With Friends