Etymology
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absorb (v.)

"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.

Origin and meaning of absorb
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Definitions of absorb

absorb (v.)
become imbued;
The liquids, light, and gases absorb
absorb (v.)
take up mentally;
he absorbed the knowledge or beliefs of his tribe
Synonyms: assimilate / ingest / take in
absorb (v.)
take up, as of debts or payments;
absorb the costs for something
Synonyms: take over
absorb (v.)
take in, also metaphorically;
The sponge absorbs water well
Synonyms: suck / imbibe / soak up / sop up / suck up / draw / take in / take up
absorb (v.)
cause to become one with;
The sales tax is absorbed into the state income tax
absorb (v.)
suck or take up or in;
A black star absorbs all matter
Synonyms: take in
absorb (v.)
devote (oneself) fully to;
Synonyms: steep / immerse / engulf / plunge / engross / soak up
absorb (v.)
assimilate or take in;
The immigrants were quickly absorbed into society
absorb (v.)
consume all of one's attention or time;
Her interest in butterflies absorbs her completely
Synonyms: engross / engage / occupy
From wordnet.princeton.edu