Verb absorb Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


absorb (third-person singular simple present absorbs, present participle absorbing, simple past and past participle absorbed or (archaic) absorpt)

  1. (transitive) To include so that it no longer has separate existence; to overwhelm; to cause to disappear as if by swallowing up; to incorporate; to assimilate; to take in and use up. [1]
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To engulf, as in water; to swallow up. [1]
  3. (transitive) To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe, like a sponge or as the lacteals of the body; to chemically take in. [1]
  4. (transitive, physics, chemistry) To take in energy and convert it, as[1]
    1. (transitive, physics) in receiving a physical impact or vibration without recoil.
    2. (transitive, physics) in receiving sound energy without repercussion or echo.
    3. (transitive, physics) taking in radiant energy and converting it to a different form of energy, like heat.
  5. (transitive) To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully[1]
  6. (transitive) To occupy or consume time. [1]
  7. (transitive) Assimilate mentally. [1]
  8. (transitive, business) To assume or pay for as part of a commercial transaction.
  9. (transitive) To defray the costs.
  10. (transitive) To accept or purchase in quantity.

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

9.Archaic. to swallow up.

1. to soak or suck up (liquids)

2. to engage or occupy (the interest, attention, or time) of (someone); engross

3. to receive or take in (the energy of an impact)

4. (physics) to take in (all or part of incident radiated energy) and retain the part that is not reflected or transmitted

5. to take in or assimilate; incorporate

6. to accept and find a market for (goods, etc)

7. to pay for as part of a commercial transaction, the distributor absorbed the cost of transport

8. (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 Derived Formsabsorbability, nounabsorbable, adjective Word OriginC15, via Old French from Latin absorbēre to suck, swallow, from ab-1 + sorbēre to suckCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
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 176

3. Related, Absorbed; absorbing.


The rocks absorb the heat from the sun.

A strange energy ran between them, as if she could absorb the faint stream of his magic.

He'd see her in less than a day, if the Council didn't absorb all his time.

It wasn't designed to absorb perspiration and probably cost twice the price of a David Dean suit, at least the last time he'd purchased one.

As they approached Jackson's car, he said, "I'm going to need some time to absorb all this before I can even begin to figure out what to do."

Gerry, the station chief, tripped his wards a moment before the stealthy Guardian crossed the threshold into the ten meter radius around Xander, where he was able to absorb thoughts and manipulate minds.

The subsoil not unfrequently contains materials which are deleterious to the growth of crops, and roots descending into it may absorb and convey these poisonous substances to other parts of the plant or be themselves damaged by contact with them.

In another form of apparatus advantage is taken of the property possessed by sodium-potassium peroxide of giving off oxygen when damped; the residue of caustic soda and potash yielded by the reaction is used to absorb the carbonic acid of the expired air.

In the future, we will paint surfaces with substances full of nanites that will absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity, transforming any object we paint into a clean energy creator.

After she had succeeded in formulating the ideas which had been slowly growing in her mind, they seemed suddenly to absorb all her thoughts, and she became impatient to have everything explained.

Now that he was telling it all to Natasha he experienced that pleasure which a man has when women listen to him--not clever women who when listening either try to remember what they hear to enrich their minds and when opportunity offers to retell it, or who wish to adopt it to some thought of their own and promptly contribute their own clever comments prepared in their little mental workshop--but the pleasure given by real women gifted with a capacity to select and absorb the very best a man shows of himself.

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