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[hahy-per-ton-ik] /ˌhaɪ pərˈtɒn ɪk/
Physiology. of or relating to hypertonia.
Physical Chemistry. noting a solution of higher osmotic pressure than another solution with which it is compared (opposed to hypotonic).
Compare isotonic (def 1).
Origin of hypertonic
1850-55; hyperton(ia) + -ic
Related forms
[hahy-per-toh-nis-i-tee] /ˌhaɪ pər toʊˈnɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hypertonic
Historical Examples
  • We have seen that a centre of catabolism is a hypertonic focus of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • If such eggs are afterwards treated for a short period with hypertonic sea-water they develop into normal larvae (plutei).

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • We have thus two poles of diffusion of contrary signs, a hypotonic pole at the water drop, and a hypertonic pole at the salt drop.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • Those eggs which form membranes begin to develop, but perish if they are not treated with hypertonic sea-water.

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • 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
  • Loeb and Wasteneys found that the hypertonic solution does not increase the rate of oxidations in a fertilized egg.

  • Rogers has reduced the mortality of cholera by intravenous injections of hypertonic saline until it is only 15 per cent.

  • The concentration of the solution is increased, the osmotic pressure is raised, and we have a hypertonic centre of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • What does the hypertonic solution do to prevent the disintegration of the egg after the artificial membrane formation?

  • On either side the pigment of the central drop has been drawn towards the hypertonic centre nearest to it.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
British Dictionary definitions for hypertonic


(esp of muscles) being in a state of abnormally high tension
(of a solution) having a higher osmotic pressure than that of a specified, generally physiological, solution Compare hypotonic, isotonic
Derived Forms
hypertonicity (ˌhaɪpətəʊˈnɪsɪtɪ) 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
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Word Origin and History for hypertonic

1855, from hyper- + tonic. Related: Hypertonia; hypertonicity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypertonic in Medicine

hypertonic hy·per·ton·ic (hī'pər-tŏn'ĭk)

  1. Having extreme muscular or arterial tension; spastic.

  2. Having the higher osmotic pressure of two solutions.

hy'per·to·nic'i·ty (-tə-nĭs'ĭ-tē, -tō-) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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