(general) The act or process of absorbing or assimilating.

(biology) The process of absorbing or assimilating substances into cells or across the tissues and organs through diffusion or osmosis, as in absorption of nutrients by the digestive system, or absorption of drugs into the bloodstream.

(physics) The act or process of retaining light energy without reflection or transmission upon passing through a medium, as in the absorption of light by atoms.

(chemistry) The process in which a substance permeates another, as in a liquid permeating, or absorbed by, a solid.

(psychology) Complete attention, engrossment or concentration to an object or activity.


Word origin: Latin absorptio, from absorbere.

Related forms: absorb (verb).
Related terms: absorption band, absorption cell, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, cutaneous absorption, external absorption, linear absorption coefficient, specific absorption coefficient.

Compare: adsorption.

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