Definition of absorb in English:


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Translate absorb into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Take in or soak up (energy or a liquid or other substance) by chemical or physical action.

    ‘buildings can be designed to absorb and retain heat’
    • ‘steroids are absorbed into the bloodstream’
    soak up, suck up, draw in, draw up, take in, take up, blot up, mop up, sponge up, sop up
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    1. 1.1Take in and understand fully (information, ideas, or experience)
      • ‘she absorbed the information in silence’
      assimilate, digest, ingest, take in, imbibe, drink in, familiarize oneself with
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    2. 1.2Take control of (a smaller or less powerful entity) and make it a part of a larger one.
      • ‘the family firm was absorbed into a larger group’
      incorporate, assimilate, integrate, appropriate, take in, subsume, include, co-opt, swallow up
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    3. 1.3Use or take up (time or resources)
      • ‘arms spending absorbs roughly two percent of the national income’
      use, use up, consume, take up, occupy
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    4. 1.4Take up and reduce the effect or intensity of (sound or an impact)
      • ‘deep-pile carpets absorbed all sound of the outside world’
      deaden, soften, cushion
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  • 2often be absorbed inTake up the attention of (someone); interest greatly.

    ‘she sat in an armchair, absorbed in a book’
    • ‘the work absorbed him and continued to make him happy’
    preoccupy, engross, captivate, occupy, engage
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/əbˈzôrb/ /əbˈzɔrb/


Late Middle English from Latin absorbere, from ab- ‘from’ + sorbere ‘suck in’.