WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
ab•sorb /æbˈsɔrb, -ˈzɔrb/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object]
  1. to suck up or drink in (a liquid);
    soak up: A sponge absorbs water.
  2. to take (a company, organization, etc.) in and make it part of a larger group;
    incorporate:The empire absorbed many nations.
  3. to get the full attention of: This book will absorb the serious reader.
  4. to take in without echo or bouncing:walls that absorb sound.
  5. to take in and utilize: to absorb information.
  6. to pay for (costs, taxes, etc.):The big company absorbed the losses of the small company it took over.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
ab•sorb  (ab sôrb, -zôrb),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to suck up or drink in (a liquid);
    soak up:A sponge absorbs water.
  2. to swallow up the identity or individuality of;
    incorporate:The empire absorbed many small nations.
  3. to involve the full attention of;
    to engross or engage wholly:so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell.
  4. to occupy or fill:This job absorbs all of my time.
  5. Chemistryto take up or receive by chemical or molecular action:Carbonic acid is formed when water absorbs carbon dioxide.
  6. to take in without echo, recoil, or reflection:to absorb sound and light; to absorb shock.
  7. to take in and utilize:The market absorbed all the computers we could build.Can your brain absorb all this information?
  8. to pay for (costs, taxes, etc.):The company will absorb all the research costs.
  9. [Archaic.]to swallow up.
ab•sorba•ble, adj. 
ab•sorb′a•bili•ty n. 
  • Latin absorbēre, equivalent. to ab-ab- + sorbēre to suck in, swallow
  • 1480–90
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged assimilate, consume, devour, engulf;

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

absorb /əbˈsɔːb -ˈzɔːb/ vb (transitive)
  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. 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 pay for as part of a commercial transaction: the distributor absorbed the cost of transport
  7. 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
Etymology: 15th Century: via Old French from Latin absorbēre to suck, swallow, from ab-1 + sorbēre to suck

abˌsorbaˈbility n abˈsorbable adj

'absorb' also found in these entries:

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