[ab-sawrb, -zawrb]
verb (used with object)
to suck up or drink in (a liquid); soak up: A sponge absorbs water.
to swallow up the identity or individuality of; incorporate: The empire absorbed many small nations.
to involve the full attention of; to engross or engage wholly: so absorbed in a book that he did not hear the bell.
to occupy or fill: This job absorbs all of my time.
to take up or receive by chemical or molecular action: Carbonic acid is formed when water absorbs carbon dioxide.
to take in without echo, recoil, or reflection: to absorb sound and light; to absorb shock.
to take in and utilize: The market absorbed all the computers we could build. Can your brain absorb all this information?
to pay for (costs, taxes, etc.): The company will absorb all the research costs.
Archaic. to swallow up.

1480–90; < Latin absorbēre, equivalent to ab- ab- + sorbēre to suck in, swallow

absorbable, adjective
absorbability, noun
nonabsorbability, noun
nonabsorbable, adjective
overabsorb, verb (used with object)
preabsorb, verb
reabsorb, verb (used with object)
unabsorbable, adjective

absorb, adsorb.

2. assimilate, consume, devour, engulf; destroy.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
absorb (əbˈsɔːb, -ˈzɔːb)
1.  to soak or suck up (liquids)
2.  to engage or occupy (the interest, attention, or time) of (someone); engross
3.  to receive or take in (the energy of an impact)
4.  physics to take in (all or part of incident radiated energy) and retain the part that is not reflected or transmitted
5.  to take in or assimilate; incorporate
6.  to accept and find a market for (goods, etc)
7.  to pay for as part of a commercial transaction: the distributor absorbed the cost of transport
8.  chem Compare adsorb to cause to undergo a process in which one substance, usually a liquid or gas, permeates into or is dissolved by a liquid or solid: porous solids absorb water; hydrochloric acid absorbs carbon dioxide
[C15: via Old French from Latin absorbēre to suck, swallow, from ab-1 + sorbēre to suck]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., from M.Fr. absorber (O.Fr. assorbir), from L. absorbere "to swallow up," from ab- "from" + sorbere "suck in," from PIE base *srebh- "to suck, absorb" (cf. Armenian arbi "I drank," Gk. rhopheo "to sup greedily up, gulp down," Lith. srebiu "to drink greedily"). Figurative meaning "to completely
grip (one's) attention" is from 1753.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

absorb ab·sorb (əb-sôrb', -zôrb')
v. ab·sorbed, ab·sorb·ing, ab·sorbs

  1. To take in by absorption.

  2. To reduce the intensity of transmitted light.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It was that they were unable to absorb the information at all, even after the
  initial shock.
No one would ever think that plants could absorb information around them.
Most liquid types can also be sprayed on rose leaves, which absorb some
  nutrients immediately.
After all, capital markets there are neither deep nor liquid enough to absorb
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