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tr.v. ab·sorbed, ab·sorb·ing, ab·sorbs
1. To take (something) in through or as through pores or interstices.
a. To occupy the attention, interest, or time of; engross: The problem completely absorbed her. See Synonyms at engross.
b. To take up or occupy (one's time or interest, for example).
3. To retain (radiation or sound, for example) wholly, without reflection or transmission.
4. To take in; assimilate: immigrants who were absorbed into the social mainstream.
5. To learn; acquire: "Matisse absorbed the lesson and added to it a new language of color" (Peter Plagen).
6. To receive (an impulse) without echo or recoil: a fabric that absorbs sound; a bumper that absorbs impact.
7. To assume or pay for (a cost or costs).
8. To endure; accommodate: couldn't absorb the additional hardships.
9. To use up; consume: The project has absorbed all of our department's resources.
[Middle English, to swallow up, from Old French absorber, from Latin absorbēre : ab-, away; see ab-1 + sorbēre, to suck.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Absorbed them [the influences of women around whom author grew up] as I would chloroform on a cloth laid against my face —Vivian Gornick
- Absorbent as a sponge —Anon
- Absorbent as blotting paper —Anon
- Absorbent as cereal soaking up cream —Anon
- It [a huge Christmas tree] soaked up baubles and tinsel like melting snow —Truman Capote
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.