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[vak-yoo-ohl] /ˈvæk yuˌoʊl/
noun, Biology.
a membrane-bound cavity within a cell, often containing a watery liquid or secretion.
a minute cavity or vesicle in organic tissue.
Origin of vacuole
From French, dating back to 1850-55; See origin at vacuum, -ole1
Related forms
[vak-yoo-oh-ler, vak-yoo-uh-, vak-yuh-ler] /ˌvæk yuˈoʊ lər, ˈvæk yu ə-, ˈvæk yə lər/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for vacuole


(biology) a fluid-filled cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell
Derived Forms
vacuolar, adjective
vacuolate (ˈvækjʊəlɪt; -ˌleɪt) adjective
vacuolation (ˌvækjʊəˈleɪʃən) noun
Word Origin
C19: from French, literally: little vacuum, from Latin vacuum
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 vacuole

1853, from French vacuole, from Latin vacuus "empty" (see vacuum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vacuole in Medicine

vacuole vac·u·ole (vāk'yōō-ōl')

  1. A small cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell, bound by a single membrane and containing water, food, or metabolic waste.

  2. A small space or cavity in a tissue.

vac'u·o'lar (-ō'lər, -lär') adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vacuole in Science
A cavity within the cytoplasm of a cell, surrounded by a single membrane and containing fluid, food, or metabolic waste. Vacuoles are found in the cells of plants, protists, and some primitive animals. In mature plant cells, there is usually one large vacuole which occupies a large part of the cell's volume and is filled with a liquid called cell sap. The cell sap stores food reserves, pigments, defensive toxins, and waste products to be expelled or broken down. In the cells of protists, however, there may be many small specialized vacuoles, such as digestive vacuoles for the absorption of captured food and contractile vacuoles for the expulsion of excess water or wastes. See more at cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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