verb intransitive: 1. to take up and hold by absorption
2. to take up and hold by adsorption
Notes (from Wordsmith)
So what’s the difference between absorption and adsorption, besides a turned-around letter b? Absorption is when a substance is completely assimilated by another while in adsorption the substance deposits on the surface of another.
Back-formation from absorb, from Latin absorbere, from ab- (away) + sorbere (to suck).
Earliest documented use: 1909
Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Nitrate is an anion and is not attracted to or sorbed by soil particles.”
Philippe Quevauviller, et al; Wastewater Quality Monitoring and Treatment; Wiley; 2006.