[ hahy-puh-ton-ik ]

  1. Physiology. (of tissue) having less than the normal tone.

  2. Physical Chemistry. noting a solution of lower osmotic pressure than another solution with which it is compared (opposed to hypertonic).: Compare isotonic (def. 1).

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Origin of hypotonic

First recorded in 1890–95; hypo- + tonic

Other words from hypotonic

  • hy·po·to·nic·i·ty [hahy-poh-toh-nis-i-tee], /ˌhaɪ poʊ toʊˈnɪs ɪ ti/, noun

Words Nearby hypotonic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hypotonic in a sentence

  • In a hypotonic solution they swell up and burst, the hmoglobin dissolving in the liquid and colouring it red.

    The Mechanism of Life | Stphane Leduc
  • These give it an osmotic pressure which prevents the deleterious effects of a strongly hypotonic liquid.

    The Mechanism of Life | Stphane Leduc
  • Under the influence of such a hypotonic solution the dry cells rapidly swell up, burst, and are dissolved.

    The Mechanism of Life | Stphane Leduc
  • It gains weight in a hypotonic solution, the water current setting towards the point of higher concentration.

    The Mechanism of Life | Stphane Leduc
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for hypotonic


/ (ˌhaɪpəˈtɒnɪk) /

  1. pathol (of muscles) lacking normal tone or tension

  2. (of a solution) having a lower osmotic pressure than that of a specified, generally physiological, solution: Compare hypertonic, isotonic

Derived forms of hypotonic

  • hypotonicity (ˌhaɪpətəˈnɪsɪtɪ), 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