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[hahy-per-ton-ik] /ˌhaɪ pərˈtɒn ɪk/
Physiology. of or relating to hypertonia.
Physical Chemistry. noting a solution of higher osmotic pressure than another solution with which it is compared (opposed to hypotonic).
Compare isotonic (def 1).
Origin of hypertonic
First recorded in 1850-55; hyperton(ia) + -ic
Related forms
[hahy-per-toh-nis-i-tee] /ˌhaɪ pər toʊˈnɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hypertonic
Historical Examples
  • We have seen that a centre of catabolism is a hypertonic focus of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • Those eggs which form membranes begin to develop, but perish if they are not treated with hypertonic sea-water.

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • If such eggs are afterwards treated for a short period with hypertonic sea-water they develop into normal larvae (plutei).

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • Rogers has reduced the mortality of cholera by intravenous injections of hypertonic saline until it is only 15 per cent.

  • Loeb and Wasteneys found that the hypertonic solution does not increase the rate of oxidations in a fertilized egg.

  • The time of exposure in the hypertonic solution diminishes in certain limits with the concentration of OH ions in the solution.

  • What does the hypertonic solution do to prevent the disintegration of the egg after the artificial membrane formation?

  • A bipolar field has a hypertonic pole or centre of concentration, and a hypotonic pole or centre of dilution.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • We have thus two poles of diffusion of contrary signs, a hypotonic pole at the water drop, and a hypertonic pole at the salt drop.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • The concentration of the solution is increased, the osmotic pressure is raised, and we have a hypertonic centre of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
British Dictionary definitions for hypertonic


(esp of muscles) being in a state of abnormally high tension
(of a solution) having a higher osmotic pressure than that of a specified, generally physiological, solution Compare hypotonic, isotonic
Derived Forms
hypertonicity (ˌhaɪpətəʊˈnɪsɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hypertonic

1855, from hyper- + tonic. Related: Hypertonia; hypertonicity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypertonic in Medicine

hypertonic hy·per·ton·ic (hī'pər-tŏn'ĭk)

  1. Having extreme muscular or arterial tension; spastic.

  2. Having the higher osmotic pressure of two solutions.

hy'per·to·nic'i·ty (-tə-nĭs'ĭ-tē, -tō-) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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