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[ab-sawr-buh nt, -zawr-] /æbˈsɔr bənt, -ˈzɔr-/
capable of absorbing heat, light, moisture, etc.; tending to absorb.
something that absorbs:
Tons of high-powered absorbents were needed to clean up the oil spill.
Origin of absorbent
1710-20; < Latin absorbent- (stem of absorbēns, present participle of absorbēre). See absorb, -ent
Related forms
absorbency, noun
nonabsorbency, noun
nonabsorbent, adjective, noun
preabsorbent, adjective, noun
semiabsorbent, adjective
unabsorbent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for absorbent
  • Wrap box with enough absorbent material to contain liquid contents, and seal inside a leak-proof plastic bag.
  • It's possible that our early ancestors had similarly absorbent skins.
  • At the same time, laughing brains are more absorbent.
  • Collect and reuse dry absorbent by filtering the used absorbent.
  • Using absorbent bibs lessens the chance of spills during fueling.
  • The equipment included oil spill containment boom and absorbent materials loaded into pre-packaged trailers.
British Dictionary definitions for absorbent


/əbˈsɔːbənt; -ˈzɔː-/
able to absorb
a substance that absorbs
Derived Forms
absorbency, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for absorbent

1718, adjective and noun, from Latin absorbentem (nominative absorbens), present participle of absorbere (see absorb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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absorbent in Medicine

absorbent ab·sorb·ent (əb-sôr'bənt, -zôr'-)
Capable of absorption; able to absorb.

ab·sorb'ent n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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