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[ves-i-kuh l] /ˈvɛs ɪ kəl/
a small sac or cyst.
Biology. a small bladderlike cavity, especially one filled with fluid.
Pathology. a circumscribed elevation of the epidermis containing serous fluid; blister.
Geology. a small, usually spherical cavity in a rock or mineral, formed by expansion of a gas or vapor before the enclosing body solidified.
Origin of vesicle
First recorded in 1570-80, vesicle is from the Latin word vēsīcula little bladder. See vesica, -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for vesicle


  1. any small sac or cavity, esp one containing serous fluid
  2. a blister
(geology) a rounded cavity within a rock formed during solidification by expansion of the gases present in the magma
(botany) a small bladder-like cavity occurring in certain seaweeds and aquatic plants
any small cavity or cell
Derived Forms
vesicular (vɛˈsɪkjʊlə) adjective
vesicularly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin vēsīcula, diminutive of vesica
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 vesicle

1570s, from Middle French vesicule, from Latin vesicula, diminutive of vesica "bladder, blister" (see ventral).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vesicle in Medicine

vesicle ves·i·cle (věs'ĭ-kəl)

  1. A small structure resembling a bladder.

  2. A small circumscribed elevation of the skin containing serum.

  3. A small sac or cyst containing liquid or gas.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vesicle in Science
  1. A small fluid-filled sac in the body.

  2. A membrane-bound sac in eukaryotic cells that stores or transports the products of metabolism in the cell and is sometimes the site for the breaking down of metabolic wastes. Vesicles bulge out and break off from the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. Vesicles get their energy for mobility from ATP. Lysosomes and peroxisomes are vesicles.

  3. A small cavity formed in volcanic rock by entrapment of a gas bubble during solidification.

vesicular adjective (vě-sĭk'yə-lər, və-)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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