[ab-sawr-buh nt, -zawr-]


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 formsab·sorb·en·cy, nounnon·ab·sorb·en·cy, nounnon·ab·sorb·ent, adjective, nounpre·ab·sorb·ent, adjective, nounsem·i·ab·sorb·ent, adjectiveun·ab·sorb·ent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for absorbency

Contemporary Examples of absorbency

Historical Examples of absorbency

  • But the amount of absorbency required is not so great as to preclude the use of size altogether.

    Wood-Block Printing

    F. Morley Fletcher

British Dictionary definitions for absorbency



able to absorb


a substance that absorbs
Derived Formsabsorbency, 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

Word Origin and History for absorbency

1762, noun of state from absorbent; see -cy.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

absorbency in Medicine




Capable of absorption; able to absorb.
Related formsab•sorbent n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.