from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Physiology Having extreme muscular or arterial tension.
  • adjective Chemistry Having the higher osmotic pressure of two solutions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In physical chemistry, having a greater osmotic pressure than some solution regarded as a standard. See isotonic, 2.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Physiology, Biochemistry) Having a higher osmotic pressure than a comparison solution; -- of an aqueous solution. Increasing the concentration of dissolved solids increases the osmotic pressure, and thus the tonicity of a solution. Opposite of hypotonic and contrasting with isotonic.
  • noun Having an osmotic pressure greater than that of blood plasma, which is approximately that of a 0.2 normal solution of sodium chloride. Cells taken from a medium of normal physiological osmolality and placed in a hypertonic medium will shrink.
  • noun in a state of abnormally high tension; -- of muscle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of a solution having a greater osmotic pressure than another
  • adjective anatomy having a very high muscular tension; spastic

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective (of living tissue) in a state of abnormally high tension
  • adjective (of a solution) having a higher osmotic pressure than a comparison solution


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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