v. im·bibed, im·bib·ing, im·bibes
1. To drink.
2. To absorb or take in as if by drinking: "The whole body ... imbibes delight through every pore" (Henry David Thoreau).
3. To receive and absorb into the mind: "Gladstone had ... imbibed a strong prejudice against Americans" (Philip Magnus).
4. Obsolete To permeate; saturate.
To drink alcoholic beverages.
[Middle English embiben, to soak up, saturate, from Latin imbibere, to drink in, imbibe : in-, in; see IN-2 + bibere, to drink; see pō(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.