Absorb



to suck up or drink in (a liquid); soak up:
A sponge absorbs water.
to swallow up the identity or individuality of; incorporate:
The empire absorbed many small nations.
to involve the full attention of; to engross or engage wholly:
so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell.
to occupy or fill:
This job absorbs all of my time.
to take up or receive by chemical or molecular action:
Carbonic acid is formed when water absorbs carbon dioxide.
to take in without echo, recoil, or reflection:
to absorb sound and light; to absorb shock.
to take in and utilize:
The market absorbed all the computers we could build. Can your brain absorb all this information?
to pay for (costs, taxes, etc.):
The company will absorb all the research costs.
Archaic. to swallow up.
Contemporary Examples

But the details of this massacre have been especially difficult to absorb.
Anatomy of a Mexican Student Massacre Jason McGahan October 7, 2014

Obviously, it was not enough to absorb all the demand for New York apartments.
How New York Could Get More Affordable Housing Megan McArdle March 12, 2013

They get cash from the international community for each person they absorb.
Syria’s Israeli Guardian Angel Itay Hod January 30, 2014

That is, they have way too much capacity and motorists aren’t buying enough gasoline to absorb all the ethanol they are producing.
Wesley Clark’s Folly Robert Bryce April 14, 2009

On campus, my fellow students and I absorb these stories with dread.
Is This the Worst Year to Graduate College Ever? Zac Bissonnette March 8, 2009

Historical Examples

By degrees, she seemed to absorb all her companion’s life and brightness.
Old Kensington Miss Thackeray

Does she suppose wounds of different kinds to “absorb” each other, so to speak?
A Tangled Tale Lewis Carroll

Children are little human sponges; they absorb the atmosphere of their environment.
My Actor-Husband Anonymous

And it is as important to help him express as to help him absorb.
College Teaching Paul Klapper

And, too, human minds vary in their inherent ability to absorb understanding.
What The Left Hand Was Doing Gordon Randall Garrett

verb (transitive)
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 transaction: the 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 solid: porous solids absorb water, hydrochloric acid absorbs carbon dioxide Compare adsorb
v.

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.

absorb ab·sorb (əb-sôrb’, -zôrb’)
v. ab·sorbed, ab·sorb·ing, ab·sorbs

To take in by absorption.

To reduce the intensity of transmitted light.

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    to suck up or drink in (a liquid); soak up: A sponge absorbs water. to swallow up the identity or individuality of; incorporate: The empire absorbed many small nations. to involve the full attention of; to engross or engage wholly: so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell. to occupy or […]

  • Absorbable

    to suck up or drink in (a liquid); soak up: A sponge absorbs water. to swallow up the identity or individuality of; incorporate: The empire absorbed many small nations. to involve the full attention of; to engross or engage wholly: so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell. to occupy or […]



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