Absorb | Definition of Absorb by Merriam-Webster

absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \
absorbed; absorbing; absorbs

Definition of absorb

transitive verb

1a : to take in (something, such as water) in a natural or gradual way a sponge absorbs water charcoal absorbs gas plant roots absorb water
b : to take in (knowledge, attitudes, etc.) : acquire, learn … convictions absorbed in youth …— M. R. Cohen
c : use up, consume The fever absorbed her strength. His work absorbs all his time and attention.
2 : to take in and make part of an existent whole the capacity of a country to absorb new immigrants
3 : to engage or engross wholly an interest that absorbs her completely absorbed in thought
4a(1) : to receive without recoil or echo provided with a sound-absorbing surface
(2) : endure, sustain absorbing hardships
(3) : assume, bear The expenses were absorbed by the company.
b : to transform (radiant energy) into a different form especially with a resulting rise in temperature The earth absorbs the sun's rays.

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Other Words from absorb

absorbability \ əb-​ˌsȯr-​bə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce absorbability (audio) , -​ˌzȯr-​ \ noun
absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorbable (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorbable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of absorb in a Sentence

a fabric that absorbs sweat The walls are made of a material that absorbs sound. absorbing heat from the sun She is good at absorbing information. He has retained the values that he absorbed as a young man. a country that has absorbed many immigrants smaller countries invaded and absorbed by bigger ones His interest in photography absorbs him completely. I was so absorbed by her story that I lost track of time.
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Recent Examples on the Web The cabbage and onions will absorb the flavor of the dressing the longer the slaw sits. Angela Davis, Washington Post, "Here’s how to transform coleslaw from cookout supporting player to star," 25 June 2020 Now, readers from around the globe can absorb his lessons. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Former Honeywell CEO David Cote just wrote one of the best guides ever on how to lead a company," 25 June 2020 If a county voted to abolish the county police department, the sheriff's department would absorb the role that the county police department was responsible for managing. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Georgia House passes bill allowing voters to decide whether to dissolve county police departments," 22 June 2020 The Office of Instruction and School Communities, led by Deputy Superintendent Kregg Cuellar, will absorb the bulk of those cuts: $4 million. oregonlive, "Portland Public Schools will leave vice principal positions empty, stall other hiring to offset budget losses," 17 June 2020 Though onions have recognized health benefits, there is no scientific evidence that an unpeeled onion can absorb germs and protect from viruses or bacteria. Katie Landeck, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Leaving raw onions around your house won’t prevent illnesses," 16 June 2020 Trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which in turn reduces the effect of climate change. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Southeast Texas ranch to preserve forest in carbon storage deal," 16 June 2020 The new legislation will absorb Weeki Wachee into Hernando County. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Weeki Wachee, Florida's City of Mermaids, Is No More," 11 June 2020 Like trees, concrete buildings also absorb carbon dioxide. WSJ, "Concrete Buildings Have Green Advantages," 2 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absorb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absorb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for absorb

borrowed from Middle French assorber, absorber, asorbir, absorbir, going back to Old French, borrowed (with conjugation changes) from Latin absorbēre, from ab- ab- + sorbēre "to suck up, draw in, engulf," going back to Indo-European *sṛbh-eii̯̯e-, probably re-formed from *srobh-eii̯̯e-, iterative derivative from the verb base *srebh- "suck up, drink noisily"; akin to Greek rophéō, ropheîn "to drink in gulps," Armenian arbi "drank," Lithuanian srebiù, srė̃bti "to gulp," Old Russian sereblyu, serebati

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Time Traveler for absorb

Time Traveler

The first known use of absorb was in the 15th century

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Statistics for absorb

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

Absorb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absorb. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for absorb

absorb

verb
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯrb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯrb \
absorbed; absorbing

Kids Definition of absorb

1 : to take in or swallow up A sponge absorbs water.
2 : to hold the complete attention of She was absorbed by the movie.
3 : to receive without giving back The walls of the theater absorb sound.
ab·​sorb | \ əb-ˈsȯ(ə)rb How to pronounce absorb (audio) , -ˈzȯ(ə)rb How to pronounce absorb (audio) \

Medical Definition of absorb

1 : to take up especially by capillary, osmotic, solvent, or chemical action surgical sutures which can be absorbed by the body the blood in the lungs absorbs oxygen
2 : to transform (radiant energy) into a different form usually with a resulting rise in temperature chlorophyll reflects green light and absorbs the other colors of light

Other Words from absorb

absorbable \ əb-​ˈsȯr-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce absorbable (audio) , -​ˈzȯr-​ How to pronounce absorbable (audio) \ adjective
absorber noun
ab·​sorb

Legal Definition of absorb

1 : to make (a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) applicable to the states
2a : to bear or assume the burden of expenses were absorbed by the company
b : to lessen the tax liability for has other losses to absorb the income— D. Q. Posin

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More from Merriam-Webster on absorb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for absorb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absorb

Spanish Central: Translation of absorb

Nglish: Translation of absorb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absorb for Arabic Speakers

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