Definition of osmosis in English:


Line breaks: os|mo¦sis
Pronunciation: /ɒzˈməʊsɪs


[mass noun]
  • 1 Biology & Chemistry A process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one.
    More example sentences
    • If a solution and solvent or two solutions of different strength are separated by a semi permeable membrane, osmosis can occur.
    • Therefore, water tends to flow into the cell by osmosis, down its concentration gradient.
    • By means of osmosis, the high concentration of sugar in the solution draws wastes, chemicals and extra water from the tiny blood vessels in your peritoneal membrane into the solution.
  • 2The process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.: by some strange political osmosis, private reputations became public
    More example sentences
    • Thomas maintained that she did not devour encyclopaedias for breakfast but picked up her knowledge by osmosis.
    • The open office is a tremendous opportunity to share knowledge and learn by osmosis.
    • I mean, I've got this theory that if you watch a lot of sport on television, by some sort of strange process of osmosis you think you play a lot of sport.



Pronunciation: /-ˈmɒtɪk/
More example sentences
  • Home spa treatments are effective, and even taking a bath is great, since the osmotic effect of bath water helps draw out toxins.
  • The osmotic potential is the amount of net movement that can occur when the solution is compared to pure water.
  • This mechanism offers osmotic protection to the embryos until late in their development.


Pronunciation: /-ˈmɒtɪk(ə)li/
More example sentences
  • Obviously, a substantial part of amino acid uptake into Vicia seeds occurs passively and is osmotically controlled and driven by water influx.
  • Nasal irrigation also may decrease mucosal inflammation osmotically.
  • The left are everywhere, osmotically channeling their subversive energies into the pockets of mainstream liberalism.


mid 19th century: Latinized form of earlier osmose, from Greek ōsmos 'a push'.

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