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
  1. verb
    spread or diffuse through
    synonyms: diffuse, interpenetrate, penetrate, permeate, pervade, riddle
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    spiritise, spiritize
    imbue with a spirit
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  2. verb
    fill, soak, or imbue totally
    synonyms: soak
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    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
  3. verb
    suffuse with color
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