To imbue is to fill up with or become "soaked" in an idea or emotion, as a sponge takes in water. One visit to a sick relative in a hospital might be enough to imbue a child with a lifelong ambition to become a doctor.

You can use imbue in a similar way as "saturate," or "soak through," to describe a filling or absorbing. A "hue" is a color, and it rhymes with imbue. When you're imbued with something, you are, in a way, colored by it. If you imbue a dish sponge with oily orange water from a spaghetti bowl, the color and the oil soak in. To fill people with qualities or emotions is, for example, to imbue them with strength or optimism.

Definitions of imbue

v spread or diffuse through

diffuse, interpenetrate, penetrate, permeate, pervade, riddle
spiritise, spiritize
imbue with a spirit
Type of:
penetrate, perforate
pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance

v fill, soak, or imbue totally

show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
infuse, steep
let sit in a liquid to extract a flavor or to cleanse
sit or let sit in boiling water so as to extract the flavor
marinade, marinate
soak in marinade
steep in hot water
undergo the process of infusion
steep; pass through a strainer
Type of:
impregnate, saturate
infuse or fill completely

v suffuse with color

Type of:
color, color in, colorise, colorize, colour, colour in, colourise, colourize
add color to

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.