verb (used with object), im·bibed, im·bib·ing.

  1. to consume (liquids) by drinking; drink: He imbibed great quantities of iced tea.
  2. to absorb or soak up, as water, light, or heat: Plants imbibe moisture from the soil.
  3. to take or receive into the mind, as knowledge, ideas, or the like: to imbibe a sermon; to imbibe beautiful scenery.

verb (used without object), im·bibed, im·bib·ing.

  1. to drink, especially alcoholic beverages: Just a soft drink for me—I don’t imbibe.
  2. to absorb liquid or moisture.
  3. Archaic. to soak or saturate; imbue.


  1. to drink (esp alcoholic drinks)
  2. literary to take in or assimilate (ideas, facts, etc)to imbibe the spirit of the Renaissance
  3. (tr) to take in as if by drinkingto imbibe fresh air
  4. to absorb or cause to absorb liquid or moisture; assimilate or saturate

late 14c., from Old French imbiber, embiber “to soak into,” from Latin imbibere “absorb, drink in, inhale,” from assimilated form of in- “into, in, on, upon” (see in- (2)) + bibere “to drink,” related to potare “to drink,” from PIE *po(i)- “to drink” (see potion). Figurative sense of “mentally drink in” (knowledge, ideas, etc.) was the main one in classical Latin, first attested in English 1550s. Related: Imbibed; imbibing.

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