semipermeable

adjective

semi·​per·​me·​able ˌse-mē-ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce semipermeable (audio)
ˌse-ˌmī-,
-mi-
: partially but not freely or wholly permeable
specifically : permeable to some usually small molecules but not to other usually larger particles
a semipermeable membrane
semipermeability noun

Examples of semipermeable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Reverse osmosis filters: This process forces water at high pressure through semipermeable filters, removing a larger range of contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. Tamar Kane, Health, 6 Feb. 2023 When sprayed onto fresh produce, Iceborea becomes a natural thin film and a semipermeable barrier that can protect against microorganisms. Hannah Hall, Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2023 The company C2Sense, which licensed the technology, is working on creating portable prototypes that will encapsulate the nanotubes and a tiny battery in semipermeable, food-safe material. Katherine Kornei, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2016 Architects could design a building that is semipermeable, with membranes that allow the circulation of air and water at various times. Annalee Newitz, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2013 There’s a drainage line at the bottom, often under a semipermeable polymer layer that forms a firm bottom to the bunker and prevents rocks and soil from coming up during freeze-thaw cycles. Bradley S. Klein, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Specialized cells within the eel’s electric organ pump ions across a semipermeable membrane barrier to produce an electrical charge difference between the inside versus the outside of the membrane. Timothy J. Jorgensen, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 The second is whether the virus can gain access to the brain, which is protected by a semipermeable barrier that can block out pathogens and other harmful particles while still allowing nutrients and other key molecules to make it through. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2021 These cytokines are seemingly able to cross the semipermeable network of capillaries that connect the brain to the rest of the body (known as the blood-brain barrier). Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'semipermeable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of semipermeable was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near semipermeable

Cite this Entry

“Semipermeable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semipermeable. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

semipermeable

adjective
semi·​per·​me·​able ˌsem-i-ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce semipermeable (audio)
ˌsem-ˌī-
: partially but not freely or entirely permeable
especially : permeable to some usually small molecules but not to other usually larger particles
semipermeability noun

Medical Definition

semipermeable

adjective
semi·​per·​me·​able ˌsem-i-ˈpər-mē-ə-bəl, ˌsem-ˌī- How to pronounce semipermeable (audio)
: partially but not freely or wholly permeable
specifically : permeable to some usually small molecules but not to other usually larger particles
a semipermeable membrane
semipermeability noun
plural semipermeabilities
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