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[ab-sawr-buh nt, -zawr-] /æbˈsɔr bənt, -ˈzɔr-/
capable of absorbing heat, light, moisture, etc.; tending to absorb.
something that absorbs:
Tons of high-powered absorbents were needed to clean up the oil spill.
Origin of absorbent
First recorded in 1710-20, absorbent is from the Latin word absorbent- (stem of absorbēns, present participle of absorbēre). See absorb, -ent
Related forms
absorbency, noun
nonabsorbency, noun
nonabsorbent, adjective, noun
preabsorbent, adjective, noun
semiabsorbent, adjective
unabsorbent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for non-absorbent
Historical Examples
  • The fact that these fixtures are made of material that is non-absorbent adds to their value as sanitary plumbing fixtures.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • Such fixtures must be constructed of non-absorbent materials.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • Manure gutters should be from six to eight inches deep, and constructed of concrete, stone or some non-absorbent material.

  • The table top should be of hard wood or some non-absorbent material, jointed in narrow strips in order to prevent warping.

  • The best stone that can be used for this purpose is hard, non-absorbent limestone.

    Convenient Houses Louis Henry Gibson
  • This was non-absorbent, and naturally when treated in this way the wounds became frightfully repulsive.

    Under the Red Crescent Charles S. Ryan
  • The thickness of a dried blood-spot on a non-absorbent surface is less the greater the height from which it has fallen.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • Stable floors should be made water-tight, be properly graded and well drained, and be of some non-absorbent material.

  • At the finish the form should be clean, smooth, glossy, and non-absorbent.

  • An outer covering that is rainproof and non-absorbent avoids the absorption of water and the consequent increase of weight.

British Dictionary definitions for non-absorbent


/əbˈsɔːbənt; -ˈzɔː-/
able to absorb
a substance that absorbs
Derived Forms
absorbency, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for non-absorbent


1718, adjective and noun, from Latin absorbentem (nominative absorbens), present participle of absorbere (see absorb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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non-absorbent in Medicine

absorbent ab·sorb·ent (əb-sôr'bənt, -zôr'-)
Capable of absorption; able to absorb.

ab·sorb'ent n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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