Definition of OSMOSIS


Osmosis is a noun that refers to the process by which molecules of a solvent pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, equalizing the concentrations on both sides. Here are several key aspects associated with the concept of osmosis:

Passage of Solvent Molecules: Osmosis involves the movement of solvent molecules, such as water, across a semipermeable membrane. These molecules move from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration, allowing the solvent to diffuse through the membrane.

Selective Permeability: The semipermeable membrane through which osmosis occurs selectively allows certain molecules to pass while blocking others based on their size and charge. This property enables osmosis to regulate the movement of solvent molecules and maintain equilibrium between solutions of different concentrations.

Equalization of Concentrations: Osmosis occurs in response to a concentration gradient, where there is a difference in solute concentration between two solutions separated by a semipermeable membrane. The movement of solvent molecules across the membrane serves to equalize the concentrations of solutes on both sides, reaching a state of equilibrium.

Cellular Processes: Osmosis plays a crucial role in biological systems, particularly in cellular processes such as nutrient uptake, waste removal, and maintenance of cell volume and shape. Cells regulate osmotic pressure to prevent excessive swelling or shrinking caused by changes in extracellular solute concentrations.

Practical Applications: Osmosis has various practical applications in science and industry, including water purification, food preservation, and medical treatments. Processes such as reverse osmosis utilize semipermeable membranes to remove impurities from water by allowing solvent molecules to pass while retaining solutes.

Osmosis is a fundamental process characterized by the movement of solvent molecules through a semipermeable membrane in response to concentration gradients. It plays a vital role in biological systems and has numerous applications in science and industry, demonstrating its significance in various contexts.

OSMOSIS in a sentence

  • Plants absorb water from the soil through osmosis, allowing them to maintain hydration and nutrient intake.
  • The science teacher demonstrated osmosis using a potato and a saltwater solution to show how water moves across cell membranes.
  • Learning a new language can sometimes feel like osmosis; the more you immerse yourself, the more you absorb without realizing it.
  • Fish regulate their internal salt and water balance through a process of osmosis that occurs across their gills.
  • The chef explained that brining meat before cooking involves osmosis, where saltwater penetrates the meat to enhance its flavor and tenderness.
  • During kidney function, osmosis plays a crucial role in filtering and reabsorbing water and essential nutrients from the blood.
  • The high school students learned about osmosis in biology class, conducting experiments to observe how different solutions affect cell size.
  • In a metaphorical sense, children often learn social behaviors through osmosis, absorbing attitudes and actions from their parents and peers.

Etymology of OSMOSIS

The term osmosis has its etymological roots in Greek and English, providing insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Semantic Context: Osmosis refers to the spontaneous movement of solvent molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a region of lower solute concentration to a region of higher solute concentration, equalizing the concentrations on both sides of the membrane.
  • Greek Influence: The term “osmosis” originates from the Greek word “osmos,” meaning “a push” or “a thrust.” In Greek, it denoted the process of pushing or driving fluid through a membrane.
  • English Formation: “Osmosis” was formed in English by adopting the Greek root “osmos” and adding the suffix “-is” to describe the process of fluid movement across a membrane.
  • Cultural Connotations: Osmosis carries cultural connotations of diffusion, equilibrium, and balance, as it describes a fundamental process in biology, chemistry, and various natural phenomena.
  • Usage in Context: “Osmosis” is commonly used in scientific and academic contexts to describe the passive movement of molecules through membranes, as well as metaphorically to describe the gradual absorption or assimilation of ideas, information, or influences.

The term osmosis reflects its origins in Greek and its adoption into English, highlighting its role in describing the passive movement of molecules across membranes and its broader metaphorical usage in describing gradual assimilation or absorption processes.


  • Diffusion
  • Permeation
  • Infiltration
  • Filtering
  • Penetration
  • Absorption
  • Seepage
  • Suction


  • Impermeability
  • Disperse
  • Convection
  • Evaporation
  • Desiccation
  • Drying
  • Ejection
  • Expulsion


  • Retention
  • Membrane
  • Solvent
  • Solute
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Hypotonic
  • Hypertonic

🌐 🇬🇧 OSMOSIS in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024 https://DefinitionGo.com