Absorb Ab*sorb", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Absorbed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Absorbing}.] [L. absorbere; ab + sorbere to suck in, akin to Gr. ?: cf. F. absorber.] 1. To swallow up; to engulf; to overwhelm; to cause to disappear as if by swallowing up; to use up; to include. ``Dark oblivion soon absorbs them all.'' --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

The large cities absorb the wealth and fashion. --W. Irving. [1913 Webster]

2. To suck up; to drink in; to imbibe; as a sponge or as the lacteals of the body. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

3. To engross or engage wholly; to occupy fully; as, absorbed in study or the pursuit of wealth. [1913 Webster]

4. To take up by cohesive, chemical, or any molecular action, as when charcoal absorbs gases. So heat, light, and electricity are absorbed or taken up in the substances into which they pass. --Nichol. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To {Absorb}, {Engross}, {Swallow up}, {Engulf}.

Usage: These words agree in one general idea, that of completely taking up. They are chiefly used in a figurative sense and may be distinguished by a reference to their etymology. We speak of a person as absorbed (lit., drawn in, swallowed up) in study or some other employment of the highest interest. We speak of a person as ebgrossed (lit., seized upon in the gross, or wholly) by something which occupies his whole time and thoughts, as the acquisition of wealth, or the attainment of honor. We speak of a person (under a stronger image) as swallowed up and lost in that which completely occupies his thoughts and feelings, as in grief at the death of a friend, or in the multiplied cares of life. We speak of a person as engulfed in that which (like a gulf) takes in all his hopes and interests; as, engulfed in misery, ruin, etc. [1913 Webster]

That grave question which had begun to absorb the Christian mind -- the marriage of the clergy. --Milman. [1913 Webster]

Too long hath love engrossed Britannia's stage, And sunk to softness all our tragic rage. --Tickell. [1913 Webster]

Should not the sad occasion swallow up My other cares? --Addison. [1913 Webster]

And in destruction's river Engulf and swallow those. --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • absorbed — adj. 1. 1 wholly absorbed as in thought that engrossed look that absorbed and rapt delight Syn: engrossed, intent, rapt, wrapped [WordNet 1.5] 2. not allowed to pass through; said of radiant waves such as light the absorbed light intensity… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • absorbed — [absôrbd′, əbsôrbd′, abzôrbd′, əbzôrbd′] adj. 1. taken in, sucked up, assimilated, etc. 2. greatly interested; wholly occupied [absorbed in reading] …   English World dictionary

  • absorbed — index internal, oblivious, pensive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • absorbed — *intent, engrossed, rapt Analogous words: immersed (see DIP): riveted (see SECURE vb): fixed, fastened (see FASTEN) Antonyms: distracted Contrasted words: absent, absentminded, distraught, *abstracted: wandering, straying, rambling (see WANDER) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • absorbed — [adj] being completely occupied mentally captivated, consumed, deep in thought, engaged, engrossed, fascinated, fixed, gone*, head over heels*, held, immersed, intent, involved, lost, preoccupied, rapt, really into*, up to here*, wrapped up*;… …   New thesaurus

  • absorbed — adj. 1) deeply, completely, thoroughly, totally absorbed 2) absorbed by, with; in (she was absorbed by/with the problem; the children were absorbed in their homework; absorbed in thought) * * * [əb zɔːbd] completely thoroughly totally absorbed… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • absorbed — ab|sorbed [ əb sɔrbd, əb zɔrbd ] adjective so interested or involved in something that you do not notice anything else: She seemed completely absorbed. absorbed in: Richard is totally absorbed in his book. => SELF ABSORBED …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • absorbed — [[t]əbzɔ͟ː(r)bd[/t]] ADJ GRADED: v link ADJ, usu ADJ in/by n If you are absorbed in something or someone, you are very interested in them and they take up all your attention and energy. They were completely absorbed in each other... He had… …   English dictionary

  • absorbed — UK [əbˈzɔː(r)bd] / US [əbˈsɔrbd] / US [əbˈzɔrbd] adjective so interested or involved in something that you do not notice anything else She seemed completely absorbed. absorbed in: Richard was totally absorbed in his book. See: self absorbed …   English dictionary

  • absorbed — adj. VERBS ▪ appear, be, look, seem ▪ become, get ▪ keep sb ▪ A crossword can keep me absorbed for ho …   Collocations dictionary

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