Definition of absorb in English:

absorb

Syllabification: ab·sorb
Pronunciation: /əbˈzôrb
 
, əbˈsôrb
 
/

verb

[with object]
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 bloodstream
More 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.
Synonyms
soak up, suck up, draw up/in, take up/in, blot up, mop up, sop up
1.1Take in and assimilate (information, ideas, or experience): she absorbed the information in silence
More 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.
Synonyms
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 group
More 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.
Synonyms
incorporate, assimilate, integrate, take, appropriate, subsume, include, co-opt, swallow up
1.3Use or take up (time or resources): arms spending absorbs roughly 2 percent of the national income
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
use (up), consume, take (up), occupy
1.4Take up and reduce the effect or intensity of (sound or an impact): deep-pile carpets absorbed all sound of the outside world
More 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 happy
More 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.
Synonyms
engross in, captivate by, occupy with, preoccupy with, engage in, rivet by, grip by, hold by, interest in, intrigue by/with, immerse in, involve in, enthrall by, spellbind by, fascinate by/with

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin absorbere, from ab- 'from' + sorbere 'suck in'.

Derivatives

absorber

noun
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.

Definition of absorb in:

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