[ab-sawrb, -zawrb]

verb (used with object)

Origin of absorb

1480–90; < Latin absorbēre, equivalent to ab- ab- + sorbēre to suck in, swallow
Related formsab·sorb·a·ble, adjectiveab·sorb·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·ab·sorb·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·ab·sorb·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·ab·sorb, verb (used with object)pre·ab·sorb, verbre·ab·sorb, verb (used with object)un·ab·sorb·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedabsorb adsorb

Synonyms for absorb

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

Examples from the Web for reabsorb

Historical Examples of reabsorb

  • It will, however, reabsorb some moisture from the air, when exposed to it.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • Where are we to find the means to abolish and reabsorb the evil?

  • Scarcely any industry can grow fast enough to reabsorb into skilled or semi-skilled positions the displaced workmen.

    The Old World in the New

    Edward Alsworth Ross

  • The expansion of the industry will create some good jobs, but not enough to reabsorb the Americans displaced.

    The Old World in the New

    Edward Alsworth Ross

  • Alone, here, he can reabsorb and even prevent the demoniacal accidents which arise in cloisters.

    En Route

    J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

British Dictionary definitions for reabsorb


verb (tr)

to soak or suck up (liquids)
to engage or occupy (the interest, attention, or time) of (someone); engross
to receive or take in (the energy of an impact)
physics to take in (all or part of incident radiated energy) and retain the part that is not reflected or transmitted
to take in or assimilate; incorporate
to accept and find a market for (goods, etc)
to pay for as part of a commercial transactionthe distributor absorbed the cost of transport
chem to cause to undergo a process in which one substance, usually a liquid or gas, permeates into or is dissolved by a liquid or solidporous solids absorb water; hydrochloric acid absorbs carbon dioxide Compare adsorb
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 reabsorb



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

reabsorb in Medicine




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.