[ ab-sawr-bing, -zawr- ]
/ æbˈsɔr bɪŋ, -ˈzɔr- /


extremely interesting; deeply engrossing: an absorbing drama.

Origin of absorbing

First recorded in 1745–55; absorb + -ing2
Related formsab·sorb·ing·ly, adverbnon·ab·sorb·ing, adjectiveun·ab·sorb·ing, adjectiveun·ab·sorb·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for absorbing (2 of 2)


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

verb (used with object)

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 absorbing

British Dictionary definitions for absorbing (1 of 2)


/ (əbˈsɔːbɪŋ, -ˈzɔːb-) /


occupying one's interest or attention; engrossing; gripping
Derived Formsabsorbingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for absorbing (2 of 2)


/ (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 absorbing



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 absorbing


[ 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.