AskDefine | Define absorption

Dictionary Definition



1 (chemistry) a process in which one substance permeates another; a fluid permeates or is dissolved by a liquid or solid [syn: soaking up]
2 (physics) the process in which incident radiated energy is retained without reflection or transmission on passing through a medium; "the absorption of photons by atoms or molecules"
3 the social process of absorbing one cultural group into harmony with another [syn: assimilation]
4 the process of absorbing nutrients into the body after digestion [syn: assimilation]
5 complete attention; intense mental effort [syn: concentration, engrossment, immersion]
6 the mental state of being preoccupied by something [syn: preoccupation, preoccupancy, engrossment]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin absorptio, from absorbere.


  • /əbˈzɔ:p.ʃən/, /@b"zO:p.S@n/


  1. The act or process of absorbing or sucking in anything.
  2. The act or process of being absorbed and made to disappear.
    the absorption of bodies in a whirlpool
    the absorption of a smaller tribe into a larger
  3. In the context of "chemistry|physics": An imbibing or reception by molecular or chemical action.
    the absorption of light, heat, electricity, etc.
  4. In living organisms, the process by which the materials of growth and nutrition are absorbed and conveyed to the tissues and organs.
  5. Entire engrossment or occupation of the mind.
    absorption in some employment''


act or process of absorbing or sucking in anything
act or process of being absorbed and made to disappear
chemistry, physics: imbibing or reception by molecular or chemical action
physiology: process by which the materials of growth and nutrition are absorbed
entire occupation of the mind


Century 1911}}




Extensive Definition

Absorption may refer to:

Chemistry and biology

Physics and mechanical engineering

Mathematics and economics

  • Absorption law, in mathematics, an identity linking a pair of binary operations
  • Absorption (economics), the total demand of an economy for goods and services both from within and without

See also

  • Adsorption, the formation of a liquid or gas film on a solid surface.
  • Digestion, the uptake of substances by the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Flow (psychology), a state of total mental "absorption".
absorption in Catalan: Absorció
absorption in Czech: Absorpce
absorption in German: Absorption
absorption in Spanish: Absorción
absorption in French: Absorption
absorption in Galician: Absorción
absorption in Japanese: 吸収
absorption in Norwegian Nynorsk: Absorpsjon
absorption in Polish: Absorpcja
absorption in Portuguese: Absorção
absorption in Romanian: Absorbţie
absorption in Slovak: Absorpcia
absorption in Finnish: Absorptio
absorption in Tagalog: Absorsyon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Walter Mitty, ablation, absence of mind, absentmindedness, absorbed attention, absorbency, absorbent, abstractedness, abstraction, adsorbent, adsorption, application, assimilation, attrition, bemusement, bile, blotter, blotting, blotting paper, brown study, burning up, castle-building, chemisorption, chemosorption, close study, concentration, consumption, contemplation, contemplativeness, daydream, daydreamer, daydreaming, deep study, deep thought, depletion, depth of thought, digestion, digestive system, drain, dream, dreaming, eating up, embarrassment, endosmosis, engagement, engrossment, enmeshment, entanglement, erosion, exhaustion, exosmosis, expending, expenditure, fantasy, fantasying, finishing, fit of abstraction, gastric juice, gastrointestinal tract, imbibing, immersion, implication, impoverishment, inclusion, infiltration, ingestion, intentness, intestinal juice, involution, involvement, liver, meditation, melancholy, monomania, mooning, moonraking, muse, musefulness, musing, muted ecstasy, obsession, osmosis, pancreas, pancreatic digestion, pancreatic juice, pensiveness, percolation, pipe dream, pipe-dreaming, predigestion, preoccupation, profound thought, rapt attention, reflectiveness, relation, reverie, saliva, salivary digestion, salivary glands, secondary digestion, seepage, single-mindedness, soaking-up, sorption, speculativeness, spending, sponge, sponging, squandering, stargazing, studiousness, study, submersion, taking-in, thoughtfulness, trance, using up, wastage, waste, wastefulness, wasting away, wearing away, wearing down, wistfulness, woolgathering
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