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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The Labpure laboratory reverse osmosis system from Vaponics can provide up to 3785 litres of purified water each day.
▪ This process is known as reverse osmosis.
▪ They will die quicker than you can say reverse osmosis.
▪ To remove just about everything, and run it to waste, the ultimate is a reverse osmosis unit at around £250.
▪ The solution to your problem is to use a tapwater filter such as Nitragon or a reverse osmosis unit.
▪ Alan Strachan seems to achieve what he wants by osmosis.
▪ And somehow-not solely by osmosis, either-we began acquiring that degree of skill and energy and initiative of quick intelligence.
▪ Linguistic experts have found that part of it is a matter of drill and part a process more like osmosis.
▪ They will die quicker than you can say reverse osmosis.
▪ This process is known as reverse osmosis.
▪ When red blood cells are put into water, they swell and burst due to osmosis.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

osmosis \os*mo"sis\ ([o^]z*m[=o]"s[i^]s), n. [NL., fr. Gr. 'wsmo`s, equiv. to 'w^sis impulse, fr. 'wqei^n to push.] (Chemical Physics)

  1. The tendency in fluids to mix, or become equably diffused, when in contact. It was first observed between fluids of differing densities, and as taking place through a membrane or an intervening porous structure. An older term for the phenomenon was Osmose.

    Note: The more rapid flow from the thinner to the thicker fluid was then called endosmosis (formerly endosmose), and the opposite, slower current, exosmosis (formerly exosmose). Both are, however, results of the same force. Osmosis may be regarded as a form of molecular attraction, allied to that of adhesion. See also osmotic pressure.

  2. The action produced by this tendency.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1867, Latinized from osmose (1854), shortened from endosmosis (1830s), from endosmose "inward passage of a fluid through a porous septum" (1829), from French endo- "inward" + Greek osmos "a thrusting, a pushing," from stem of othein "to push, to thrust," from PIE *wedhe- "to push, strike" (cognates: Sanskrit vadhati "pushes, strikes, destroys," Avestan vadaya- "to repulse"). Figurative sense is from 1900. Related: Osmotic (1854, from earlier endosmotic).


n. 1 The net movement of solvent molecules, usually water, from a region of high solvent potential to a region of lower solvent potential through a partially permeable membrane 2 (context slang English) Picking up knowledge accidentally, without actually seeking that particular knowledge.


n. diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a place of higher concentration to a place of lower concentration until the concentration on both sides is equal


Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a semi-permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides. It may also be used to describe a physical process in which any solvent moves across a semipermeable membrane (permeable to the solvent, but not the solute) separating two solutions of different concentrations. Osmosis can be made to do work.

Osmotic pressure is defined as the external pressure required to be applied so that there is no net movement of solvent across the membrane. Osmotic pressure is a colligative property, meaning that the osmotic pressure depends on the molar concentration of the solute but not on its identity.

Osmosis is a vital process in biological systems, as biological membranes are semipermeable. In general, these membranes are impermeable to large and polar molecules, such as ions, proteins, and polysaccharides, while being permeable to non-polar and/or hydrophobic molecules like lipids as well as to small molecules like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and nitric oxide. Permeability depends on solubility, charge, or chemistry, as well as solute size. Water molecules travel through the plasma membrane, tonoplast membrane (vacuole) or protoplast by diffusing across the phospholipid bilayer via aquaporins (small transmembrane proteins similar to those responsible for facilitated diffusion and ion channels). Osmosis provides the primary means by which water is transported into and out of cells. The turgor pressure of a cell is largely maintained by osmosis across the cell membrane between the cell interior and its relatively hypotonic environment.

Jean-Antoine Nollet first documented observation of osmosis in 1748.L’Abbé Nollet (June 1748) “Recherches sur les causes du bouillonnement des liquides” (Researches on the causes of the boiling of liquids) Mémoires de Mathématique et de Physique, tirés des registres de l’Académie Royale des Sciences de l’année 1748, pp. 57–104; especially pp. 101–103. The Mémoires (1748) were printed in: Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Sciences Année 1748, which was published in 1752 and which contains a condensed version of Nollet's article on pages 10–19.

Original text : Avant que de finir ce Mémoire, je crois devoir rendre compte d'un fait que je dois au hasard, & qui me parut d'abord … singulier … j'en avois rempli une fiole cylindrique, longue de cinq pouces, & d'un pouce de diamètre ou environ ; & l'ayant couverte d'un morceau de vessie mouillée & ficelée au col du vaisseau, je l'avois plongée dans un grand vase plein d'eau, afin d'être sûr qu'il ne rentrât aucun air dans l'esprit de vin. Au bout de cinq ou six heures, je fus tout surpris de voir que la fiole étoit plus pleine qu'au moment de son immersion, quoiqu'elle le fût alors autant que ses bords pouvoient le permettre ; la vessie qui lui servoit de bouchon, étoit devenue convexe & si tendue, qu’en la piquant avec une épingle, il en sortit un jet de liqueur qui s'éleva à plus d'un pied de hauteur.

Translation : Before finishing this memoir, I think I should report an event that I owe to chance and which at first seemed to me … strange … I filled [with alcohol] a cylindrical vial, five inches long and about one inch in diameter; and [after] having covered it with piece of damp bladder [which was] tied to the neck of the vial, I immersed it in a large bowl full of water, in order to be sure that no air re-entered the alcohol. At the end of 5 or 6 hours, I was very surprised to see that the vial was fuller than at the moment of its immersion, although it [had been filled] as far as its sides would allow ; the bladder that served as its cap, bulged and had become so stretched that on pricking it with a needle, there came from it a jet of alcohol that rose more than a foot high.

The word "osmosis" descends from the words "endosmose" and "exosmose", which were coined by French physician René Joachim Henri Dutrochet (1776–1847) from the Greek words ἔνδον (éndon “within”), ἔξω (éxō “outer, external”), and ὠσμός (ōsmós "push, impulsion").Etymology of "osmosis" :

  • Henri Dutrochet, L'Agent Immédiat du Movement Vital Dévoilé dans sa Nature et dans son Mode d'Action chez les Végétaux et chez les Animaux [The immediate agent of living movement, its nature and mode of action revealed in plants and animals] (Paris, France: Dentu, 1826), pp. 115 and 126.
  • The intermediate word "osmose" and the word "osmotic" were coined by Scottish chemist Thomas Graham. See: Thomas Graham (1854) "VII. The Bakerian Lecture – On Osmotic Force," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London), vol. 144, pp. 177–288; see especially pp. 177, 178, and 227. See also: Thomas Graham and Henry Watts, Elements of Chemistry: Including the Applications of the Sciences in the Arts, 2nd ed. (London, England: Hippolyte Bailliere, 1858), vol. 2, p. 616.
  • The word "osmosis" first appeared in: Jabez Hogg, The Microscope: Its History, Construction, and Application..., 6th ed. (London, England: George Routledge and Sons, 1867), p. 226.
  • The etymology of the word "osmosis" is discussed in:
Osmosis (disambiguation)

Osmosis is the movement of molecules through a membrane.

Osmosis may also refer to:

Usage examples of "osmosis".

Comanche had that blissful look of the bayman who has eaten just a little too much, Ned had assumed the glassy stare with which he always succumbs to the processes of digestion, osmosis, transmogrification and apotheosis on such occasions, and the rest were trying their land-legs about the banquet hall.

This vein, however, has been blocked artificially and treated to reduce osmosis.

Here are proper conditions for osmosis, and this process of dialysis will take place whenever the intestinal contents holds more dialyzable material than the blood.

In electrodialysis and reverse osmosis, electrified water passes through membranes that remove the salt.

She was astounded at the variety of hiding places Debra came up with, and began, by osmosis almost, to feel suspicious herself.

And though a silence fell at that point, somehow, through the inexplicable osmosis of communication Olivia had known ever since she was six or (hereabouts, that he had bigamously remarried in his new land and that somewhere, at the opposite end of the world, there were brothers and sisters she would never see.

Perhaps the process is more like a kind of osmosis, with the red blood cells migrating across some specially constituted membrane.

I reflect that their bodies must have solved the problem of osmosis, which dehydrates seagoing Humans.

Most of the things in the EVA locker were obvious enough-spacesuits and hazardous-atmosphere suits, four flybikes cleverly folded into their storage niches under the spacesuit closet, heavy-duty handlamps, camping gear, osmosis masks and scuba gear with flippers and spearguns, one EM-flying belt, three boxes of tools, two well-equipped med-kits, six sets of night-vision and IR goggles, an equal number of lightweight headsets with mike-bead communicators and vid cameras, and comlogs.

Donald Ross was born in Dornoch, and before he became America's most famous golf-course architect in the first half of the twentieth century he walked its links regularly, worked and golfed there, and absorbed its spirit as if by osmosis.

Skinsuits had not changed much in all those centuries, except to incorporate rebreathing filaments and osmosis panels.

First of all he developed a petro-plastic spansule that was airtight, one hundred percent resistant to osmosis, neutral to body tissues, free of surface condensation, not even fractionally biodegradable—.

Volumes of given gases and total internal reflection and osmosis and litmus paper and the lime-water equation.

Disused CloudTunnel, ribbed with vacuum tubes, tended to gain gas and therefore additional weight through osmosis over the millennia.

As she watched Geneva dribble vanilla extract over the ice in the glasses, as she carried the glasses to the table, and as Geneva followed with cans of Coke, Leilani explained Sinsemilla's passion for purging toxins through reverse osmosis in hot baths.