- 1Take in or soak up (energy, or a liquid or other substance) by chemical or physical action, typically gradually: buildings can be designed to absorb and retain heat steroids are absorbed into the bloodstreamMore example sentences
- Molecules may change their rotational energy levels by absorbing energy from electromagnetic radiation in the microwave region of the spectrum.
- Carbon dioxide primarily absorbs infrared energy emitted by the Earth, thus contributing to the greenhouse effect and warming the Earth's surface and the atmosphere.
- Electrons in the mineral absorb the energy from the activator and become excited.
- 1.1Take in and assimilate (information, ideas, or experience): she absorbed the information in silenceMore example sentences
- Michael understood that he would never fully absorb the French experience if language were a barrier.
- To a certain extent, all through life we absorb information we understand, or about which we care, and filter the rest.
- He is a bright young man who absorbs information and experiences like a sponge.
- 1.2Take control of (a smaller or less powerful entity), making it a part of oneself by assimilation: the family firm was absorbed into a larger groupMore example sentences
- But Sir John's mantra is worth revisiting at a time when another of Scotland's institutions is absorbed into a larger entity.
- On Friday, the heads of the two banks announced they had agreed to merge their banks by forming a new entity that will absorb the two banks by June next year.
- He said the slate would consist of candidates who were not willing to sell out the UNC to become absorbed into some other political entity.
- 1.3Use or take up (time or resources): arms spending absorbs roughly 2 percent of the national incomeMore example sentences
use (up), consume, take (up), occupy
- Too often, remedial actions tend to absorb resources to the detriment of preventive measures.
- The report says that these demands are absorbing resources, thereby reducing funds for community services that could help to contain rising hospital admissions.
- The actions of a few uncontrolled patients rebound on the rest of us, absorbing scarce resources and driving staff from the NHS.
- 1.4Take up and reduce the effect or intensity of (sound or an impact): deep-pile carpets absorbed all sound of the outside worldMore example sentences
- For instance, ceiling tiles that absorb sounds and reduce noise levels can cost about the same as materials that are less sound-absorbent.
- With residue, the raindrop impact is absorbed and erosion is reduced.
- In an open office, its acoustic function is to absorb sound and reduce the reflection of sounds back down into the office space.
- 2Engross the attention of (someone): the work absorbed him and continued to make him happyMore example sentences
- I love being so absorbed in a book that I don't hear the things going on around me.
- He hadn't heard her come up the stairs or enter the apartment he was so absorbed in his book.
- She managed to make it look as if she were absorbed in the book when John threw her door open.
- More example sentences
- Passive absorbers of information or active creators of knowledge?
- I don't think you would recommend a curry a day for headaches but it is possible that someone with a headache who is a very good absorber of salicylic acid might find it went away if they had a vindaloo.
- Ian is very analytical and an enormous absorber of information, and very argumentative.
late Middle English: from Latin absorbere, from ab- 'from' + sorbere 'suck in'.