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[ab-sawrp-shuh n, -zawrp-] /æbˈsɔrp ʃən, -ˈzɔrp-/
the act of absorbing.
the state or process of being absorbed.
assimilation; incorporation:
the absorption of small farms into one big one.
uptake of substances by a tissue, as of nutrients through the wall of the intestine.
a taking in or reception by molecular or chemical action, as of gases or liquids.
Physics. the removal of energy or particles from a beam by the medium through which the beam propagates.
complete attention or preoccupation; deep engrossment:
absorption in one's work.
1590-1600; < Latin absorptiōn- (stem of absorptiō), equivalent to absorpt(us), past participle of absorbēre to absorb + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
hyperabsorption, noun
interabsorption, noun
nonabsorption, noun
overabsorption, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for absorption
  • The absorption of non-heme iron often depends on the food balances in meals.
  • Ranting is not his style, rather an absorption with every aspect of the production to the exclusion of all other considerations.
  • For absorption to occur, a pill must dissolve and disintegrate.
  • Compounds in coffee and tea can affect iron absorption.
  • Spokes that spiral inward toward the hub are able to flex, providing shock absorption for the entire rover.
  • The energy required to move that much sea water though any kind of absorption device must be pretty large.
  • Within an hour, the bag was giving off noticeable heat- a byproduct of the absorption.
  • But until now the ocean's heat absorption had not been definitively demonstrated, and its magnitude had not been determined.
  • If your roof is dark-colored, consider having it painted white to minimize heat absorption.
  • Golden sunshine on his face, he flaps and spins his hands with absorption.
British Dictionary definitions for absorption


/əbˈsɔːpʃən; -ˈzɔːp-/
the process of absorbing or the state of being absorbed
  1. normal assimilation by the tissues of the products of digestion
  2. the passage of a gas, fluid, drug, etc, through the mucous membranes or skin
(physics) a reduction of the intensity of any form of radiated energy as a result of energy conversion in a medium, such as the conversion of sound energy into heat
(immunol) the process of removing superfluous antibodies or antigens from a mixture using a reagent
Derived Forms
absorptive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin absorptiōn-, from absorbēre to absorb
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 absorption

1590s, from Latin absorptionem (nominative absorptio), noun of action from past participle stem of absorbere (see absorb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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absorption in Medicine

absorption ab·sorp·tion (əb-sôrp'shən, -zôrp'-)
The taking in or incorporation of something, such as a gas, a liquid, light, or heat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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absorption in Science
  1. Biology The movement of a substance, such as a liquid or solute, across a cell membrane by means of diffusion or osmosis.

  2. Chemistry The process by which one substance, such as a solid or liquid, takes up another substance, such as a liquid or gas, through minute pores or spaces between its molecules. A paper towel takes up water, and water takes up carbon dioxide, by absorption. Compare adsorption.

  3. Physics The taking up and storing of energy, such as radiation, light, or sound, without it being reflected or transmitted. During absorption, the energy may change from one form into another. When radiation strikes the electrons in an atom, the electrons move to a higher orbit or state of excitement by absorption of the radiation's energy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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