absorb

[ab-sawrb, -zawrb]

verb (used with object)


Nearby words

  1. absolutive,
  2. absolutize,
  3. absolutory,
  4. absolve,
  5. absonant,
  6. absorbable gelatin film,
  7. absorbable suture,
  8. absorbance,
  9. absorbed,
  10. absorbed dose

Origin of absorb

1480–90; < Latin absorbēre, equivalent to ab- ab- + sorbēre to suck in, swallow

Related forms
Can be confusedabsorb adsorb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for absorb


British Dictionary definitions for absorb

absorb

verb (tr)

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 transactionthe 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 solidporous solids absorb water; hydrochloric acid absorbs carbon dioxide Compare adsorb
Derived Formsabsorbability, nounabsorbable, adjective

Word Origin for absorb

C15: via Old French from Latin absorbēre to suck, swallow, from ab- 1 + sorbēre to suck

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

Word Origin and History for absorb

absorb

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for absorb

absorb

[əb-zôrb]

v.

To take in by absorption.
To reduce the intensity of transmitted light.

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