from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To consume gradually; to waste away.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To bring to an end by a gradual waste; consume; destroy; cause to disappear. Boyle.
From Latin absūmere, present active infinitive of absūmō ("diminish"); formed from ab ("from, away from") + sūmō ("take"). (Wiktionary)