[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

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British Dictionary definitions for absorbent



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 absorbent

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

absorbent 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.