"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.
"engrossed mentally," 1760, past-participle adjective in a figurative sense from absorb (v.). Related: Absorbedly.
"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."
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.
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."
late 14c., "avoid (something); refrain (oneself) from; keep free from sin or vice; live austerely, practice abstinence or asceticism; be sexually continent," from Old French abstiner, abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (oneself) back, refrain voluntarily, abstain (from what satisfies the passions), practice abstinence," from Latin abstinere/abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Specifically of liquor from late 14c. Meaning "refrain from voting" is from 1796. Related: Abstained; abstaining.