- the tendency of a fluid, usually water, to pass through a semipermeable membrane into a solution where the solvent concentration is higher, thus equalizing the concentrations of materials on either side of the membrane.
- the diffusion of fluids through membranes or porous partitions.Compare endosmosis, exosmosis.
Origin of osmosis
OTHER WORDS FROM osmosis
Words nearby osmosis
MORE ABOUT OSMOSIS
What is osmosis?
Osmosis is the movement of a fluid from an area with a low concentration of a solute through a semipermeable membrane to an area with a high concentration of a solute.
A solute is something that dissolves in something else, known as a solvent, creating a solution. In sugar water (a solution), the sugar is the solute that dissolves in the water, the solvent. Concentration is the measurement of how much solute is in a solvent. Semipermeable means that only certain things can pass through something. In osmosis, only the solvent (usually water) can pass through the membrane.
The process of osmosis works like this. Let’s say we have a glass that is separated down the middle with a plastic divider with tiny holes in it that only water can move through. First, we fill the glass with water. Then, we add 5 grams of salt to one half of the glass and 7 grams of salt to the other half. What happens?
Over time, water will flow from the half with 5 grams of salt (the lower concentration) into the half with 7 grams of salt (the higher concentration). Water will stop flowing (or flow incredibly slowly) when the two halves have about the same amount of salt in each side.
Osmosis is a natural process that a solvent will want to do. Both plants and animals use osmosis to absorb water into their highly concentrated cells. Without osmosis these living things would be more likely to suffer from dehydration.
Why is osmosis important?
The first records of the term osmosis come from around 1865. It is the Latinized form of the obsolete noun osmose, which comes from the Greek word osmos, meaning “push” or “thrust.” In osmosis, a solvent “pushes” or “thrusts” through a membrane.
Water is the most common solvent involved in osmosis because of how prevalent and important it is. Importantly, osmosis is a passive process, which means cells don’t have to spend energy to perform it. Water will naturally flow into the cells.
Osmosis is a sort of fluid version of a process known as diffusion, in which something of high concentration moves to an area of low concentration. In the case of osmosis, a solvent with less stuff in it is highly concentrated so it wants to move through a barrier to help fill an area with more solute that is taking up space and making the solvent around it less concentrated.
Did you know … ?
Osmosis is used outside of science to refer to any passive flow or absorption. For example, we might describe a student as learning “through osmosis,” meaning they don’t actively study but gradually absorb the knowledge over time.
What are real-life examples of osmosis?
Osmosis is a process that is commonly learned by students new to biology or chemistry.
It's best to learn about osmosis by hanging around people who know the subject and just sort of let it sink in.
— Milton Mermikides (@miltonline) April 24, 2012
If I sleep with my textbook under my pillow, will I absorb the info through osmosis?
— jordan (@BallanceJordan) September 21, 2020
What other words are related to osmosis?
True or False?
During osmosis, water flows from an area with a high concentration of solute through a membrane into an area with a low concentration of solute.
How to use osmosis in a sentence
The relationships he builds with his teammates, the respect he garners, the joy he has in playing, it’s like osmosis.This Was No Team USA Men's Basketball Dream Team. But In Tokyo, It Demands Our Respect|Sean Gregory/Tokyo|August 7, 2021|Time
This plant harnessed osmosis to generate a humble 2 to 4 kilowatts, enough to power a couple of kitchen appliances.
Osmotic power takes advantage of osmosis, the movement of water through a semipermeable membrane.
Rittri now heads up Bluewater, a water purification products company that uses patented osmosis technology to enable local purification of water with the goal of eliminating the need for plastic and long-distance transport.Best air purifier: Fight allergens, smoke, and germs for cleaner indoor air|PopSci Commerce Team|December 17, 2020|Popular-Science
According to Hestekin, the nephron could be combined with ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, or reverse osmosis systems and integrated into an artificial kidney.Artificial Kidneys Are a Step Closer With This New Tech|Vanessa Bates Ramirez|June 3, 2020|Singularity Hub
A reverse osmosis plant on an adjacent plot of land desalinates and purifies up to 1.25 million gallons of water daily.Sun+Water= High Tech Caribbean Luxury At The Cusinart Resort|The Daily Beast|June 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And through basic cultural osmosis you learned its broad outlines: woman, travel, freeing of spirit, yoga.
Any winery that possesses a reverse-osmosis machine—usually used to remove alcohol from wine—can create their own concentrates.
In simple animals, as the sponge and hydra, no such organs are needed, the fluid food passing from cell to cell by osmosis.
No breathing organs are seen, because osmosis of oxygen and carbon dioxide may take place anywhere through the cell membrane.
The cell absorbs oxygen from the water by osmosis through its delicate membrane, giving up carbon dioxide in return.
Nourishment passes through them by a simple process of osmosis.Embryology|Gerald R. Leighton
Non-osmosis of non-digested foods, comparison between osmosable qualities of starch and grape sugar.