Definitions

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

  • n. The act or process of absorbing or the condition of being absorbed.
  • n. A state of mental concentration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or process of absorbing or of being absorbed as,
  • n. The retaining of electrical energy for a short time after it has been introduced to the dielectric.
  • n. The taking on of by a shipping company of special charges by another without price increase.
  • n. The natural lessening of radio waves due to atmospheric interference.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of absorbing or sucking in anything, or of being absorbed and made to disappear.
  • n. An imbibing or reception by molecular or chemical action
  • n. In living organisms, the process by which the materials of growth and nutrition are absorbed and conveyed to the tissues and organs.
  • n. Entire engrossment or occupation of the mind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or process of absorbing, or the state of being absorbed, in all the senses of the verb: as—
  • n. In physiology, the process of taking up into the vascular system (venous or lymphatic) either food from the alimentary canal or inflammatory products and other substances from the various tissues. Plants absorb moisture and nutritive juices principally by their roots, but sometimes by their general surfaces, as in seaweeds, and carbonic acid by their leaves. Absorption of organic matter by leaves takes place in several insectivorous plants.
  • n.
  • n. In Herbart's pedagogic system, the gradual process of the apprehension of the manifold: a translation of the German vertiefung. Otherwise called concentration and self-estrangement.
  • n. Specifically— In the absorption of gases, the volume of a gas which one volume of a liquid will dissolve.
  • n. In optics, the constant K in the equation , where A0 is the amplitude of an incident ray, A1 its amplitude after penetrating to a depth of one wave-length in the absorbing medium, and e the base of natural logarithms.

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

  • n. the mental state of being preoccupied by something
  • n. complete attention; intense mental effort
  • n. (chemistry) a process in which one substance permeates another; a fluid permeates or is dissolved by a liquid or solid
  • n. the social process of absorbing one cultural group into harmony with another
  • n. (physics) the process in which incident radiated energy is retained without reflection or transmission on passing through a medium
  • n. the process of absorbing nutrients into the body after digestion

Etymologies

Latin absorptiō, absorptiōn-, from absorptus, past participle of absorbēre, to absorb; see absorb.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • "4. In Herbart's pedagogic system, the gradual process of the apprehension of the manifold: a translation of the German vertiefung. Otherwise called concentration and self-estrangement."

    --Century Dictionary

    February 11, 2011