late 14c., from Old French imbiber, embiber "to soak into," and directly from Latin imbibere "absorb, drink in, inhale," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + bibere "to drink," related to potare "to drink," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink." Figurative sense of "mentally drink in" (knowledge, ideas, etc.) was the main one in classical Latin, first attested in English 1550s. Related: Imbibed; imbibing.
early 15c., "to keep wet; to soak, saturate;" also figuratively "to cause to absorb" (feelings, opinions, etc.), from Latin imbuere "moisten, wet, soak, saturate," figuratively "to fill; to taint," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from the same root as imbrication. Compare also Old French embu, past participle of emboivre, from Latin imbibere "drink in, soak in" (see imbibe), which might have influenced the English word. Related: Imbued; imbuing.
*pō(i)-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to drink."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit pati "drinks," panam "beverage;" Greek pinein "to drink," poton "that which one drinks," potos "drinking bout;" Latin potare "to drink," potio "a potion, a drinking," also "poisonous draught, magic potion;" Old Church Slavonic piti "to drink," pivo "beverage."
Old English drincan "to swallow water or other fluid," also "to swallow up, engulf" (class III strong verb; past tense dranc, past participle druncen), from Proto-Germanic *drenkanan (source also of Old Saxon drinkan, Old Frisian drinka, Dutch drinken, Old High German trinkan, German trinken, Old Norse drekka, Gothic drigkan "to drink"), which is of uncertain origin or connections, perhaps from a root meaning "to draw."
Most Indo-European words for this trace to PIE *po(i)- (source of Greek pino, Latin biber, Irish ibim, Old Church Slavonic piti, Russian pit'; see imbibe).
Figurative meaning "take in through the senses" is from late 12c. Especially "to imbibe spiritous liquors" from mid-15c. To drink to "salute in drinking" is by mid-13c. To drink like a fish is recorded from 1744. To drink (someone) under the table "continue drinking and remain (comparatively) sober after others have passed out" is by 1909.
"drink," mid-15c.; "snack between meals," c. 1500, from Anglo-French beivre, Old French bevre, boivre, infinitive used as a noun, from Latin bibere "to imbibe" (from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink").
"ingest through the throat" (transitive), Old English swelgan "swallow, imbibe, absorb" (class III strong verb; past tense swealg, past participle swolgen), from Proto-Germanic *swelgan/*swelhan (source also of Old Saxon farswelgan, Old Norse svelgja "to swallow," Middle Dutch swelghen, Dutch zwelgen "to gulp, swallow," Old High German swelahan "to swallow," German schwelgen "to revel"), probably from PIE root *swel- (1) "to eat, drink" (source also of Iranian *khvara- "eating").
Intransitive sense "perform the act of swallowing" is from c. 1700. Sense of "consume, destroy" is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to accept without question" is from 1590s. Related: Swallowed; swallowing.