American English

Definition of absorb verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//əbˈzɔrb//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they absorb
    he / she / it absorbs
    past simple absorbed
    -ing form absorbing
    jump to other results
  1. 1to take in a liquid, gas, or other substance from the surface or space around absorb something Plants absorb oxygen. Let the rice cook until it has absorbed all the water. absorb something into something The lotion is easily absorbed into the skin.
  2. make part of something larger
  3. 2[often passive] to make something smaller become part of something larger absorb something The country simply cannot absorb this influx of refugees. absorb something into something The surrounding small towns have been absorbed into the city.
  4. information
  5. 3absorb something to take something into the mind and learn or understand it synonym take in It's a lot of information to absorb all at once. It took me several days to absorb the fact of her death. They spent a week in Paris just absorbing the atmosphere.
  6. interest someone
  7. 4absorb somebody to interest someone very much so that they pay no attention to anything else synonym engross This work had absorbed him for several years.
  8. heat/light/energy
  9. 5absorb something to take in and keep heat, light, energy, etc. instead of reflecting it Black walls absorb a lot of heat during the day.
  10. shock/impact
  11. 6absorb something to reduce the effect of a blow, hit, etc. This tennis racket absorbs shock on impact. The bats have graphite shafts that absorb the vibration. see also shock absorber
  12. money/time/changes
  13. 7absorb something to use up a large supply of something, especially money or time The new proposals would absorb $80 billion of the federal budget.
  14. 8absorb something to deal with changes, effects, costs, etc. The company is unable to absorb such huge losses.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: absorb