English

Definition of absorb verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    absorb

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrb//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrb//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they absorb
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrb//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrb//
     
    he / she / it absorbs
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːbz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrbz//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːbz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrbz//
     
    past simple absorbed
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrbd//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrbd//
     
    past participle absorbed
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrbd//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrbd//
     
    -ing form absorbing
    BrE BrE//əbˈzɔːbɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈzɔːrbɪŋ//
     
    ; BrE BrE//əbˈsɔːbɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsɔːrbɪŋ//
     
    Energy and physical forces
     
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    liquid/gas
  1. 1  to take in a liquid, gas or other substance from the surface or space around absorb something Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Let the rice cook until it has absorbed all the water. absorb something into something The cream is easily absorbed into the skin. Wordfinderabsorb, condense, dilute, dissolve, evaporate, filter, immerse, liquid, rinse, saturated
  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. 3  absorb 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 somebody
  7. 4absorb somebody to interest somebody 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. See related entries: Energy and physical forces
  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.
  15. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin absorbere, from ab- ‘from’ + sorbere ‘suck in’.Extra examples Concrete absorbs very little moisture. He stood still, absorbing every detail of the scene. His work absorbed him completely. It was great to sit back and absorb the atmosphere. Nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. The information is presented so that it can be readily absorbed. These committees were gradually absorbed into the local government machine. My work absorbs a great deal of my time. She was completely absorbed in the task. The new proposals would absorb $80 million of the federal budget. The work had absorbed him for several years.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: absorb