Etymology
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absorb (v.)
Origin and meaning of absorb

"to drink in, suck up, take in by absorption," early 15c., from Old French absorbir, assorbir (13c., Modern French absorber), from Latin absorbere "to swallow up, devour," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + sorbere "suck in," from PIE root *srebh- "to suck, absorb" (source also of Armenian arbi "I drank," Greek rhopheo "to sup greedily up, gulp down," Lithuanian srebiu, srėbti "to drink greedily"). Figurative meaning "to completely grip (one's) attention" is from 1763.

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absorbed (adj.)

"engrossed mentally," 1760, past-participle adjective in a figurative sense from absorb (v.). Related: Absorbedly.

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absorbing (adj.)

1670s, "soaking up, swallowing," present-participle adjective in a figurative sense from absorb (v.). Originally in medicine. Figurative sense of "engrossing" is by 1826. Related: Absorbingly.

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reabsorb (v.)

also re-absorb, "draw or take in anew by absorption," 1761, from re- "back, again" + absorb, or else a back-formation from absorption. Related: Reabsorbed; reabsorbing.

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absorbent (adj.)
Origin and meaning of absorbent

"absorbing or capable of absorbing," 1718, from Latin absorbentem (nominative absorbens) "a drinking," present participle of absorbere "swallow up" (see absorb). Also from 1718 as a noun, "anything which absorbs."

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resorb (v.)

"absorb again, take back that which has been given out," 1630s, from French résorber or directly from Latin resorbere "to suck back," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + sorbere "to suck" (see absorb). Related: Resorbed; resorbing; resorbent.

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absorption (n.)
Origin and meaning of absorption

1590s, "a swallowing up" (now obsolete), from Latin absorptionem (nominative absorptio) "a swallowing," noun of action from past-participle stem of absorbere "swallow up" (see absorb). From 1714 specifically of "disappearance by assimilation into something else."

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adsorb (v.)
1882, transitive (intransitive use attested from 1919), back-formation from adsorption "condensation of gases on the surfaces of solids" (1882), coined in German from ad- + -sorption, abstracted from absorption and representing Latin sorbere "to suck" (see absorb). Related: Adsorbent; adsorption.
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arrow-root (n.)
also arrowroot, 1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because the plant's fresh roots or tubers were used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.
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preoccupied (adj.)

"absorbed in thought, meditative," 1823, past-participle adjective from preoccupy (v.) in the "absorb mentally" sense. Earlier it meant "occupied in advance."

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