to suck up or drink in (a liquid); soak up: A sponge absorbs water.
to swallow up the identity or individuality of; incorporate: The empire absorbed many small nations.
to involve the full attention of; to engross or engage wholly: so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell.
to occupy or fill: This job absorbs all of my time.
to take up or receive by chemical or molecular action: Carbonic acid is formed when water absorbs carbon dioxide.
to take in without echo, recoil, or reflection: to absorb sound and light; to absorb shock.
to take in and utilize: The market absorbed all the computers we could build. Can your brain absorb all this information?
to pay for (costs, taxes, etc.): The company will absorb all the research costs.
Archaic. to swallow up.
- ab·sorb·a·ble, adjective
- ab·sorb·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- non·ab·sorb·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- non·ab·sorb·a·ble, adjective
- o·ver·ab·sorb, verb (used with object)
- pre·ab·sorb, verb
- re·ab·sorb, verb (used with object)
- un·ab·sorb·a·ble, adjective
- absorb , adsorb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use absorb in a sentence
The meat was almost blackened by the time it absorbed the smoke, and while the skin was crisp, it gave way between my teeth.Until I Can Go Back to My Favorite Restaurant, This Jerk Paste Is the Next Best Thing | Elazar Sontag | September 25, 2020 | Eater
With a more extensive root system, plants can absorb more nutrients and pump more exudates into the soil to recruit more helpful microbes that can make more indole-3-acetic acid.Junk Food Is Bad For Plants, Too - Issue 90: Something Green | Anne Biklé & David R. Montgomery | September 23, 2020 | Nautilus
A few amphibians don’t bother with lungs and instead absorb oxygen through their skin.
Even with an increase in volume, the system has space to absorb more passengers and still perform well.Planning to fly for the holidays? 6 things to know before you book | matthewheimer | September 19, 2020 | Fortune
I wanted to learn as much as I could about the trail and, as an educator, he was happy to give me as much information as I could absorb.
Similar reinforced plinths were developed by the Getty museums in Los Angeles to absorb the seismic movements there.
In the book, you say “absorb youth and you will be absorbed by youth.”George Clinton on Industry ‘Mobsters’ and How Nobody Wants to Listen to a Crackhead | Curtis Stephen | November 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the details of this massacre have been especially difficult to absorb.
It gave me license to pore over raw tape, again and again, to absorb the subtle clues of human behavior.We Interrupt This Broadcast: How a TV Producer Learned to Write Fiction | George Lerner | September 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“I welcome China to Africa because Africa is big enough to absorb China,” he said.The American Elite Embraces a New Africa at D.C. Summit | Eleanor Clift | August 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Never smoke when the pores are open: they absorb, and you are unfit for decent society.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
It was with much amazement that they watched Henrietta absorb sandwiches, cake, eggs, and fruit.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn | Margaret Penrose
Here one can be alive and absorb something of the earth-forces that never get within touching distance in the cities.Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
The recent researches of Brustlein have shown that lime does cause the organic matters to absorb ammonia from its salts.Elements of Agricultural Chemistry | Thomas Anderson
Should it still be too moist to be sown, it must be again turned over, and mixed with some dry substance to absorb the moisture.Elements of Agricultural Chemistry | Thomas Anderson
British Dictionary definitions for absorb
to soak or suck up (liquids)
to engage or occupy (the interest, attention, or time) of (someone); engross
to receive or take in (the energy of an impact)
physics to take in (all or part of incident radiated energy) and retain the part that is not reflected or transmitted
to take in or assimilate; incorporate
to accept and find a market for (goods, etc)
to pay for as part of a commercial transaction: the distributor absorbed the cost of transport
chem to cause to undergo a process in which one substance, usually a liquid or gas, permeates into or is dissolved by a liquid or solid: porous solids absorb water; hydrochloric acid absorbs carbon dioxide Compare adsorb
- absorbability, noun
- absorbable, adjective
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