semipermeable

[ sem-ee-pur-mee-uh-buh l, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˈpɜr mi ə bəl, ˌsɛm aɪ- /
|

adjective

permeable only to certain small molecules: a semipermeable membrane.

Nearby words

  1. semipalmate,
  2. semipalmated plover,
  3. semipalmated sandpiper,
  4. semiparasitic,
  5. semipermanent,
  6. semiplastic,
  7. semipolar bond,
  8. semipolitical,
  9. semiporcelain,
  10. semipostal

Origin of semipermeable

First recorded in 1895–1900; semi- + permeable

Related formssem·i·per·me·a·bil·i·ty, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for semi-permeable

  • The term "osmotic membrane" should therefore in all cases replace that of "semi-permeable membrane."

    The Mechanism of Life|Stphane Leduc


British Dictionary definitions for semi-permeable

semipermeable

/ (ˌsɛmɪˈpɜːmɪəbəl) /

adjective

(esp of a cell membrane) selectively permeable
Derived Formssemipermeability, 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

Word Origin and History for semi-permeable

semi-permeable

adj.

1873, from semi- + permeable. Translating German halbdurchlässig.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for semi-permeable

semipermeable

[ sĕm′ē-pûrmē-ə-bəl, sĕm′ī- ]

adj.

Partially permeable.
Allowing passage of certain, especially small, molecules or ions but acting as a barrier to others. Used of biological and synthetic membranes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.