Having a greater degree of tone or tension.

Having a higher osmotic pressure in a fluid relative to another fluid.

Of or pertaining to a solution (e.g. extracelllular fluid) with higher solute concentration compared with another. (see: hypotonic, isotonic). For example, if the extracellular fluid has greater amounts of solutes than the cytoplasm, the extracellular fluid is said to be hypertonic.


A cell placed in a highly concentrated solution will result in the water molecules diffusing out of the cell. Eventually, the cell will shrink. It should be noted, however, that not all cells in a hypertonic solution will shrink. The cells have ways to circumvent hypertonicity (see osmoregulation).

Related forms: hypertonicity (noun).
Compare: hypotonic, isotonic.
See also: tonicity, osmotic pressure, solution, solute, concentration gradient.

Please contribute to this project, if you have more information about this term feel free to edit this page

This page was last modified on 16 April 2009, at 09:52. This page has been accessed 717,104 times. 
What links here | Related changes | Permanent link