absorb

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested around 1425. From Middle French absorber, from Old French assorbir,from Latin absorbeō (swallow up), from ab (from) + sorbeō (suck in, swallow); akin to Ancient Greek ῥοφέω (ropheō, sup up), Middle Irish srub (snout), Lithuanian srēbti (to sip), and perhaps to Middle High German sürpfeln (to sip), and Norwegian slurpe. Compare French absorber.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To engulf, as in water; to swallow up. [Attested from the late 15th century until the late 18th century.][1]
    • 1879, Thomas Burnet, The Sacred Theory of the Earth:
      to be absorpt, or swallowed up, in a lake of fire and brimstone.
  3. (transitive) To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe; as a sponge or as the lacteals of the body; to chemically take in. [First attested in the early 17th century.][1]
  4. (transitive, physics, chemistry) To take in energy and convert it, as[First attested in the early 18th century.][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.
    Heat, light, and electricity are absorbed in the substances into which they pass.
  5. (transitive) To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully; as, absorbed in study or in the pursuit of wealth. [First attested in the late 18th century.][1]
  6. (transitive) To occupy or consume time. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][1]
  7. (transitive) Assimilate mentally. [First attested in the late 19th century.][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.

Synonyms[edit]

to take in

Antonyms[edit]

  • (physics: to take up by chemical or physical action): emit

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2003 [1933], Brown, Lesley editor, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, edition 5th, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7, page 9:

Anagrams[edit]

See also[edit]