1815, in sorbic acid, so called because it was first isolated from the berries of the mountain ash (see sorb).
1843, from German Sorbe, from Slavic Serb, the national designation. Slavic people surviving in Lusatia, eastern Saxony, also known as Wends. Related: Sorbian (1836); earlier Sorabian (1788), from Medieval Latin Sorabi.
"fruit of the service tree," 1520s, from French sorbe, from Latin sorbum "service-berry" (small, edible fruit of the European mountain ash), from sorbus, of uncertain origin.