Osmotic pressure is the minimum pressure which needs to be applied to a solution to prevent the inward flow of water across a semipermeable membrane. It is also defined as the measure of the tendency of a solution to take in water by osmosis. Potential osmotic pressure is the maximum osmotic pressure that could develop in a solution if it were separated from distilled water by a selectively permeable membrane. The phenomenon of osmosis arises from the propensity of a pure solvent to move through a semi-permeable membrane and into a solution containing a solute to which the membrane is impermeable. This process is of vital importance in biology as the cell's membrane is semipermeable.
Noun 1. (physical chemistry) the pressure exerted by a solution necessary to prevent osmosis into that solution when it is separated from the pure solvent by a semipermeable membrane (hypernym) pressure, pressure level, force per unit area (hyponym) hypertonicity (classification) physical chemistry