[ ad-sawrb, -zawrb ]
/ ædˈsɔrb, -ˈzɔrb /

verb (used with object) Physical Chemistry.

to gather (a gas, liquid, or dissolved substance) on a surface in a condensed layer: Charcoal will adsorb gases.

Origin of adsorb

First recorded in 1880–85; ad- + (ab)sorb

Related forms

Can be confused

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

British Dictionary definitions for adsorptive


/ (ədˈsɔːb, -ˈzɔːb) /


to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which a substance, usually a gas, accumulates on the surface of a solid forming a thin film, often only one molecule thickto adsorb hydrogen on nickel; oxygen adsorbs on tungsten Compare absorb (def. 8)

Derived Forms

adsorbable, adjectiveadsorbability, nounadsorption, noun

Word Origin for adsorb

C19: ad- + -sorb as in absorb
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

Medicine definitions for adsorptive


[ ăd-zôrb ]


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