1. Anything which absorbs. "The ocean, itself a bad absorbent of heat." (Darwin)

2. <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.

3. <physiology> The vessels by which the processes of absorption are carried on, as the lymphatics in animals, the extremities of the roots in plants.

(01 Mar 1998)