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From Middle French absorber, from Old French assorbir, from Latin absorbeō (“swallow up”), from ab- (“from”) + sorbeō (“suck in, swallow”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *srebʰ- (“to sip”). Compare French absorber.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əbˈzɔːb/, /əbˈsɔːb/
- (General American) IPA(key): /æbˈsɔɹb/, /æbˈzɔɹb/, /əbˈsɔɹb/, /əbˈzɔɹb/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)b
- Hyphenation: ab‧sorb
absorb (third-person singular simple present absorbs, present participle absorbing, simple past and past participle absorbed or (archaic) absorpt)
- (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 c. 1350 to 1470.]
- 1782, William Cowper, On Observing some Names of Little Note:
- Dark oblivion soon absorbs them all.
- 1819 July 31, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Rural Life in England”, in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., number II, New York, N.Y.: […] C. S. Van Winkle, […], →OCLC, page 124:
- In some countries, the large cities absorb the wealth and fashion of the nation; they are the only fixed abodes of elegant and intelligent society, and the country is inhabited almost entirely by boorish peasantry.
- (transitive, obsolete) To engulf, as in water; to swallow up. [Attested from the late 15th century until the late 18th century.]
- 1684-1690, Thomas Burnet, The Sacred Theory of the Earth:
- to be absorpt, or swallowed up, in a lake of fire and brimstone.
- (transitive) To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe, like a sponge or as the lacteals of the body; to chemically take in. [first attested in the early 17th century.]
- 2023 March 8, Howard Johnston, “Was Marples the real railway wrecker?”, in RAIL, number 978, page 51:
- Wages absorbed 80% of the total revenue (which was inescapable), and they were rising at almost twice the rate of fares, which were pegged by law.
- (intransitive) To be absorbed, or sucked in; to sink in.
- The drops of water slowly absorbed into the dry sponge.
- (transitive, physics, chemistry) To take in energy and convert it. [first attested in the early 18th century.]
- Heat, light, and electricity are absorbed in the substances into which they pass.
- (transitive, physics) in receiving a physical impact or vibration without recoil.
- (transitive, physics) in receiving sound energy without repercussion or echo.
- (transitive, physics) taking in radiant energy and converting it to a different form of energy, like heat.
- (transitive) To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully. [first attested in the late 18th century.]
- 1915 December 4 – 1916 January 8, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter VIII, in The Son of Tarzan, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., published March 1917, →OCLC, page 103:
- Geeka was cooking dinner. As the little girl played she prattled continuously to her companion, propped in a sitting position with a couple of twigs. She was totally absorbed in the domestic duties of Geeka – so much so that she did not note the gentle swaying of the branches of the tree above her as they bent to the body of the creature that had entered them stealthily from the jungle.
- 1904, Kazimierz Waliszewski, Lady Mary Loyd, transl., Ivan the Terrible, Part 2 Chapter 3:
- Livonian affairs held him tight, and were to absorb him for many a year.
- (transitive) To occupy or consume time. [first attested in the mid 19th century.]
- (transitive) To assimilate mentally. [first attested in the late 19th century.]
- (transitive, business) To assume or pay for as part of a commercial transaction.
- 2006, Gunnar Almgren, Health Care Politics, Policy, and Services: A Social Justice Analysis:
- Among the most debatable is the contention that the profit margins of small employers are insufficient to absorb the costs of health insurance
- (transitive) To defray the costs.
- (transitive) To accept or purchase in quantity.
Conjugation of absorb
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||absorb, absorbest†||absorbed, absorbedst†|
|3rd-person singular||absorbs, absorbeth†||absorbed|
- (to include so that it no longer has separate existence): assimilate, engulf, incorporate, swallow up, overwhelm
- (to suck up or drink in): draw, drink in, imbibe, soak up, sop up, suck, suck up, steep, take in, take up
- (to consume completely): use up
- (to occupy fully): engage, engross, immerse, monopolize, occupy
- (finance: to assume or pay for): assume, bear, pay for, take in
- (physics: to take up by chemical or physical action): emit
to include so that it no longer has separate existence
to consume completely
to suck up or drink in
(physics, chemistry) to take up by chemical or physical action
to occupy fully
to assimilate mentally
finance: to assume or pay for
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “absorb”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 9.
- inflection of absorbi:
- English terms derived from Middle French
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Latin
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ɔː(ɹ)b/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English terms with quotations
- English terms with obsolete senses
- English intransitive verbs
- English terms with usage examples
- Romanian terms with IPA pronunciation
- Romanian non-lemma forms
- Romanian verb forms