Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: absorber, from Latin absorbere, from ab- 'away' + sorbere 'to suck up'

absorb

verb
     
ab‧sorb W3 [transitive]
1

liquid/gas

to take in liquid, gas, or another substance from the surface or space around something:
Plants absorb nutrients from the soil.
absorb something into something
Water and salts are absorbed into our blood stream.
2

information

to read or hear a large amount of new information and understand it:
Her capacity to absorb information is amazing.
3

interest

to interest someone so much that they do not pay attention to other things:
The movement and noise of the machines absorbed him completely.
be absorbed in something
Judith lay on the settee, absorbed in her book.
4

become part of something

to become part of something larger:
California absorbs many of the legal immigrants to the US.
be absorbed into something
We were soon absorbed into local village life.
5

light/heat/energy/noise

if something absorbs light, heat, energy, or noise, it takes it in:
Darker surfaces absorb heat.
6

deal with change/costs

if something absorbs changes or costs, it accepts them and deals with them successfully:
The beer industry had absorbed a doubling of federal tax in 1991.
7

money/time

if something absorbs money, time etc it uses a lot of it:
Defence spending absorbs almost 20% of the country's wealth.
8

force

to reduce the effect of a sudden violent movement:
A well-designed sports shoe should absorb the impact on your feet.

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