Imbibe vs imbue

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Imbibe means to drink a beverage, usually an alcoholic beverage. Imbibe may also mean to take in something, to absorb something such as air, an aroma, or knowledge. Imbibe is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are imbibes, imbibed, imbibing, imbiber, imbibition. The word imbibe is derived from the Latin word imbibere, which means to drink in, to absorb.

Imbue means to permeate something with a certain quality or feeling, to instill a certain quality or feeling in something. Imbue is also a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are imbues, imbued, imbuing, imbuement. The word imbue comes from the Latin word imbuere, which means soak, saturate, moisten.


Muslim leaders and followers alike have been enjoined to imbibe the culture of honesty and sincerity in their daily activities in order to build a progressive nation where peace and equity reign. (The Daily Trust)

Check out the traditional calabash gourds and metal straws used to imbibe yerba mate (ma-TAY). (The Denver Post)

While some fight the crowds to gaze upon the Ford Fireworks, others BBQ in the backyard or head Up North for the holiday, there are plenty of booze hounds who will take the day to imbibe with friends and family. (The Detroit Metro Times)

Brexit may just be the first result of the failure to imbue the European project with deeper meaning. (The Huffington Post)

Most unedifying was his attempt to imbue the referendum result, easily one of the most ill-conceived and profoundly damaging political events of Britain’s post-war history, with some nobility. (The Economist)

At the eastern edge of the rural Bekaa Valley, where the rocky hillsides are stippled with cherry trees, a generations-old kinship with Brazil has imbued two Lebanese villages with a Latino spirit.  (Haaretz)