[ ab-sawrb, -zawrb ]
/ æbˈsɔrb, -ˈzɔrb /

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 absorbable

  • Their action is very similar to the action of giant cells in the soft tissues about absorbable foreign bodies.

  • Mineral oils (refined paraffine) also are not absorbable, and they act with benefit in some cases.

    Diet and Health|Lulu Hunt Peters

British Dictionary definitions for absorbable


/ (əbˈsɔːb, -ˈzɔːb) /

verb (tr)

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 absorbable



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 absorbable


[ əb-zôrb ]


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.