[ dahy-al-uh-sis ]
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noun,plural di·al·y·ses [dahy-al-uh-seez]. /daɪˈæl əˌsiz/.
  1. Physical Chemistry. the separation of crystalloids from colloids in a solution by diffusion through a membrane.

  2. Biochemistry. the separation of large molecules, as proteins, from small molecules and ions in a solution by allowing the latter to pass through a semipermeable membrane.

  1. Medicine/Medical. (in kidney disease) the process by which uric acid and urea are removed from circulating blood by means of a dialyzer.

Origin of dialysis

First recorded in 1580–90; from Late Latin, from Greek diálysis “separation”; equivalent to dia- + -lysis

Words Nearby dialysis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dialysis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dialysis


/ (daɪˈælɪsɪs) /

nounplural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. the separation of small molecules from large molecules and colloids in a solution by the selective diffusion of the small molecules through a semipermeable membrane

Origin of dialysis

C16: from Late Latin: a separation, from Greek dialusis a dissolution, from dialuein to tear apart, dissolve, from luein to loosen

Derived forms of dialysis

  • dialytic (ˌdaɪəˈlɪtɪk), adjective
  • dialytically, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for dialysis


[ dī-ălĭ-sĭs ]

  1. The separation of the smaller molecules in a solution from the larger molecules by passing the solution through a membrane that does not allow the large molecules to pass through.

  2. A medical procedure in which this technique of molecular separation is used to remove metabolic waste products or toxic substances from the blood. Dialysis is required for individuals with severe kidney failure.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for dialysis


[ (deye-al-uh-sis) ]

The separation of large molecules from small molecules by passage through a membrane.

Notes for dialysis

A common treatment for kidney disease is the use of a dialysis machine to filter toxic substances from the blood, a function that the kidneys normally perform.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.