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Meaning of “absorb” in the English Dictionary

"absorb" in British English

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absorbverb [T]

uk   /əbˈzɔːb/  us   /əbˈzɔːrb/
  • absorb verb [T] (TAKE IN)

B2 to take something in, especially gradually: Plants absorb carbon dioxide. In cold climates, houses need to have walls that will absorb heat. Towels absorb moisture. The drug is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Our countryside is increasingly being absorbed by/into the large cities.
to reduce the effect of a physical force, shock, or change: The barrier absorbed the main impact of the crash.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • absorb verb [T] (UNDERSTAND)

C1 to understand facts or ideas completely and remember them: It's hard to absorb so much information.
  • absorb verb [T] (TAKE CONTROL)

if one company absorbs another company, it takes control of it and they become one company: Telecorp Holdings absorbed its Spanish subsidiary into its British headquarters.
(Definition of absorb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"absorb" in American English

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absorbverb [T]

 us   /əbˈzɔrb, -ˈsɔrb/
  • absorb verb [T] (SUCK IN)

to take in a liquid, gas, or chemical: The black clay soil around here doesn’t absorb water very well. fig. The country has absorbed millions of immigrants over the years. Note: Used to describe the behavior of a substance or object.
  • absorb verb [T] (TAKE ATTENTION)

to completely take the attention of someone: She was absorbed in listening to music.
To absorb knowledge, ideas, or information is to understand them completely and store them in your memory: It was difficult to absorb so much information.
(Definition of absorb from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"absorb" in Business English

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absorbverb [T]

uk   us   /əbˈzɔːb/
if an organization absorbs the cost of something, it pays that cost: The law school has absorbed most of the expenses so far, but it may have to offer fewer places next year to reduce costs.
FINANCE if one company absorbs another company in a takeover, they become one company: Telecorp Holdings absorbed its Spanish subsidiary, Digital Corporation, into its British headquarters.
(Definition of absorb from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“absorb” in American English

“absorb” in Business English

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