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absorb / absorbed

When water or some other liquid goes into solid material such as a sponge, a shirt, or the ground, you can use the verb "absorb" to describe the action:

  • The ground absorbed the water very quickly after it rained.
  • Wearing a t-shirt helps to absorb sweat and keeps your shirt dry when it’s hot outside.
  • The noodles will absorb all of the sauce if you leave them in for too long.
  • When a sponge becomes too saturated, it’s can’t absorb any more water.


You can also use "absorb" when something is taken in or transferred from one thing to another. It’s especially common to hear "absorb" used for money and knowledge:

  • Bill’s company absorbed a huge loss last year, but profits from this year will make up for it.
  • Dark clothing absorbs energy from the sun. On a hot day, it’s a good idea to wear light clothing. Today I’m going to wear a white shirt.
  • My brain can absorb just so much information in one day. I have to take a break!

The noun and adjective form of this word is "absorption." (Notice the second "b" changes to a "p."

  • The absorption of food occurs in the small intestines. (noun)
  • Water absorption rates are affected by temperature. (adjective)

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Published on June 22, 2014.



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