from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To take (something) in through or as through pores or interstices.
  • transitive verb To occupy the attention, interest, or time of; engross: synonym: engross.
  • transitive verb To take up or occupy (one's time or interest, for example).
  • transitive verb To retain (radiation or sound, for example) wholly, without reflection or transmission.
  • transitive verb To take in; assimilate.
  • transitive verb To learn; acquire.
  • transitive verb To receive (an impulse) without echo or recoil.
  • transitive verb To assume or pay for (a cost or costs).
  • transitive verb To endure; accommodate.
  • transitive verb To use up; consume.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drink in; suck up; imbibe, as a sponge; take in by absorption, as the lacteals of the body; hence, to take up or receive in, as by chemical or molecular action, as when charcoal absorbs gases.
  • To swallow up; engulf; overwhelm: as, the sea absorbed the wreck.
  • To swallow up the identity or individuality of; draw in as a constituent part; incorporate: as, the empire absorbed all the small states.
  • To engross or engage wholly.
  • In medicine, to counteract or neutralize: as, magnesia absorbs acidity in the stomach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To swallow up; to engulf; to overwhelm; to cause to disappear as if by swallowing up; to use up; to include.
  • transitive verb To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe; as a sponge or as the lacteals of the body.
  • transitive verb To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully.
  • transitive verb To take up by cohesive, chemical, or any molecular action, as when charcoal absorbs gases. So heat, light, and electricity are absorbed or taken up in the substances into which they pass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, business To assume or pay for as part of a commercial transaction.
  • verb transitive To defray the costs.
  • verb transitive To accept or purchase in quantity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb become imbued
  • verb cause to become one with
  • verb assimilate or take in
  • verb take in, also metaphorically
  • verb devote (oneself) fully to
  • verb take up mentally
  • verb take up, as of debts or payments
  • verb consume all of one's attention or time
  • verb suck or take up or in


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, to swallow up, from Old French absorber, from Latin absorbēre : ab-, away; see ab– + sorbēre, to suck.]


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