Origin of absorbentClassical Latin absorbens, present participle of absorbere: see absorb
(comparative more absorbent, superlative most absorbent)
- Anything which absorbs. [First attested in the early 18th century.]
- (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.]
- (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.
- (chemistry) A liquid used in the process of separating gases or volatile liquids, in oil refining.
From Latin absorbēns, present active participle of absorbeō (“absorb”).