- Having the ability or tendency to absorb; able to soak up liquid easily; absorptive. [First attested in the early 18th century.]
"Those paper towels were amazingly absorbent. That was quite a spill."
- Anything which absorbs. [First attested in the early 18th century.]
- (chemistry) A liquid used in the process of separating gases or volatile liquids, in oil refining.
- (medicine) Any substance which absorbs and neutralizes acid fluid in the stomach and bowels, as magnesia, chalk, etc.; also a substance, e.g., iodine, which acts on the absorbent vessels so as to reduce enlarged and indurated parts.
- (physiology, pluralized, now rare) The vessels by which the processes of absorption are carried on, as the lymphatics in animals, the extremities of the roots in plants. [First attested in the mid 18th century.]