Osmosis doesn’t mean what we think it means

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “learn by osmosis,” but I bet most people don’t know what the word “osmosis” actually means.  Ever seen the word “osmosis” in this context?

reverse-osmosis-drinking-water-systemYeah, my mind was blown.  Reverse osmosis?  Drinking water?  What the hell is going on here?

Wikipedia defines osmosis as follows:

Osmosis is the net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in order to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.

Yeah, I didn’t follow all that either.  Essentially, osmosis is the diffusion of water… and a reverse osmosis filter removes chlorine, heavy metals, such as barium, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury from water for drinking. Similar to the residential Vortex Revitalizer.

So boom.  No learning going on here – except the correct* definition of “osmosis.”

and by ‘correct,’ I mean the first definition you’ll see for osmosis, even if it’s not the most common.


About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on February 27, 2013, in Dictionary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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