To cause or suffer to lie in a fluid till the substance has imbibed what it can contain; to macerate in water or other liquid; to steep, as for the purpose of softening or freshening; as, to soak cloth; to soak bread; to soak salt meat, salt fish, or the like.
To drench; to wet thoroughly.
To draw in by the pores, or through small passages; as, a sponge soaks up water; the skin soaks in moisture.
To make (its way) by entering pores or interstices; -- often with through.
Fig.: To absorb; to drain.
To lie steeping in water or other liquid; to become sturated; as, let the cloth lie and soak.
To enter (into something) by pores or interstices; as, water soaks into the earth or other porous matter.
I think the reason that swearing is both so offensive and so attractive is that it is a way to push people's emotional buttons, and especially their negative emotional buttons. Because words soak up emotional connotations and are processed involuntarily by the listener, you can't will yourself not to treat the word in terms of what it means. Steven Pinker
Pot barley takes longer to cook than pearl, but an overnight soak in water will speed things along. It's a robust grain that, if overcooked, won't collapse but will become more tender. Yotam Ottolenghi