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15th Century, from Old French, from Latin absorbeō (absorb), from ab (from) + sorbeō (suck in). Compare French absorber.


  • (RP) IPA: /əbˈzɔːb/, /əbˈsɔːb/
  • (US) IPA: /æbˈzɔːrb/, /æbˈsɔːrb/
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  • Rhymes: -ɔː(r)b


to Absorb

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to Absorb (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)

  1. (transitive) To include so that it no longer has separate existence; to swallow up; to engulf; to overwhelm; to cause to disappear as if by swallowing up; to use up; to incorporate; to assimilate.
  2. (transitive) To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe; as a sponge or as the lacteals of the body.
  3. (transitive) To learn
  4. (transitive) To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully; as, absorbed in study or in the pursuit of wealth.
  5. (transitive) To consume completely.
  6. (transitive) To endure.
  7. (transitive) Template:Physics To take up by chemical or physical action.
    Heat, light, and electricity are absorbed in the substances into which they pass.
  8. (transitive, business) To assume or pay for as part of a commercial transaction.


  • (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 learn): acquire, assimilate, ingest, learn, take in
  • (to consume completely): use up
  • (to occupy fully): engage, engross, immerse, monopolize, occupy
  • (to endure): accommodate, bear, endure, sustain, withstand
  • (finance: to assume or pay for): assume, bear, pay for

to take in


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

Derived terms[]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


  • abbors,
  • bobars

See also[]

  • adsorb

ar:absorb de:absorb et:absorb eo:absorb fa:absorb fr:absorb gl:absorb ko:absorb hr:absorb io:absorb id:absorb it:absorb kn:absorb lo:absorb hu:absorb ml:absorb ja:absorb no:absorb pt:absorb simple:absorb su:absorb fi:absorb sv:absorb ta:absorb te:absorb th:absorb chr:absorb tr:absorb uk:absorb vi:absorb zh:absorb