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From Latin absorbēns, present active participle of absorbeō (absorb).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əbˈsɔː.bn̩t/, /əbˈzɔː.bn̩t/
  • (US) IPA(key): /æbˈsɔɹ.bn̩t/, /æbˈzɔɹ.bn̩t/, /əbˈsɔɹ.bn̩t/, /əbˈzɔɹ.bn̩t/
  • (file)


absorbent (comparative more absorbent, superlative most absorbent)

  1. Having the ability or tendency to absorb; able to soak up liquid easily; absorptive. [First attested in the early 18th century.][1]
    Those paper towels were amazingly absorbent. That was quite a spill.

Derived termsEdit



absorbent (plural absorbents)

  1. Anything which absorbs. [First attested in the early 18th century.][1]
    • 1839, Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, 1972, Forgotten Books, page 225,
      In the Southern Ocean the winter is not so excessively cold, but the summer is far less hot, for the clouded sky seldom allows the sun to warm the ocean, itself a bad absorbent of heat: and hence the mean temperature of the year [] is low.
  2. (physiology, pluralized, now rare) The vessels by which the processes of absorption are carried on, as the lymphatics in animals, the extremities of the roots in plants. [First attested in the mid 18th century.][1]
  3. (medicine) Any substance which absorbs and neutralizes acid fluid in the stomach and bowels, as magnesia, chalk, etc.; also a substance, e.g., iodine, which acts on the absorbent vessels so as to reduce enlarged and indurated parts.
  4. (chemistry) A liquid used in the process of separating gases or volatile liquids, in oil refining.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 9



absorbent (masculine and feminine plural absorbents)

  1. absorbent


absorbent m (plural absorbents)

  1. absorbent

Related termsEdit