Absorbing



extremely interesting; deeply engrossing:
an absorbing drama.
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

What do you think it is, abstractly, that makes this period so absorbing?
How I Write: Erik Larson Revisits ‘Isaac’s Storm’ Noah Charney October 30, 2012

He pauses, absorbing the sunshine streaming into his garden.
Anime King Hayao Miyazaki’s Cursed Dreams Melissa Leon December 1, 2014

We know that Mockingbird, played by Adrianne Palicki, will be making an appearance, as well as the absorbing Man.
The Leaner, Meaner Season 2 of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Jason Lynch September 21, 2014

This is an absorbing story, and Haigh is a very talented writer.
6 Great Summer Beach Reads Elin Hilderbrand July 29, 2010

But for a truly intimate and absorbing experience, head over to Studio Theater on 14th Street.
A Local’s Guide to D.C. During the Holidays William O’Connor December 17, 2013

Historical Examples

This is a story of absorbing interest both to young and old.
Among the Esquimaux Edward S. Ellis

These concealed meetings, once begun, became an absorbing excitement.
Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The disadvantages of the habit of making life a consecutive series of absorbing preoccupations are numerous.
The Record of Nicholas Freydon A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

It would mean a long summer of interesting and absorbing I work for her and for Katy.
Her Father’s Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter

While absorbing the idea that she must make her clothes go as far as possible, she made no remark.
Clark’s Field Robert Herrick

adjective
occupying one’s interest or attention; engrossing; gripping
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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