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What is the difference between diffusion and osmosis?

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    diffusion = Main Entry: dif·fu·sion
    Pronunciation: di-'fyü-zh&n
    Function: noun
    Date: 14th century
    1 : the action of diffusing : the state of being diffused
    3 a : the process whereby particles of liquids, gases, or solids intermingle as the result of their spontaneous movement caused by thermal agitation and in dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration b (1) : reflection of light by a rough reflecting surface (2) : transmission of light through a translucent material : SCATTERING
    4 : the spread of cultural elements from one area or group of people to others by contact
    5 : the softening of sharp outlines in a photographic image
    - dif·fu·sion·al /-'fyü-zh&-n&l/ adjective

    osmosis = Main Entry: os·mo·sis
    Pronunciation: äz-'mO-s&s, äs-
    Function: noun
    Etymology: New Latin, short for endosmosis
    Date: 1867
    1 : movement of a solvent through a semipermeable membrane (as of a living cell) into a solution of higher solute concentration that tends to equalize the concentrations of solute on the two sides of the membrane
    2 : a process of absorption or diffusion suggestive of the flow of osmotic action; especially : a usually effortless often unconscious assimilation <learned a number of languages by osmosis —Roger Kimball>

    © 2001 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
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