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[vahy-uh l, vahyl] /ˈvaɪ əl, vaɪl/
Also, phial. a small container, as of glass, for holding liquids:
a vial of rare perfume; a vial of medicine.
verb (used with object), vialed, vialing or (especially British) vialled, vialling.
to put into or keep in a vial.
pour out vials of wrath, to wreak vengeance or express anger:
In her preface she pours out vials of wrath on her detractors.
Origin of vial
1300-50; Middle English viole, variant of fiole phial
Can be confused
vial, vile, viol. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And he showed the vial, which he had brought down in his enthusiasm.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Almost everyone has tried to dissolve some substance in water in a vial.

    The Meaning of Evolution Samuel Christian Schmucker
  • It was something formidable and swift, like the sudden smashing of a vial of wrath.

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • I barely tasted the pellet, and replaced it carefully in the vial.

    Beyond the Vanishing Point Raymond King Cummings
  • I ran back and reached the vial, tugged at its huge stopper.

    Beyond the Vanishing Point Raymond King Cummings
British Dictionary definitions for vial


/ˈvaɪəl; vaɪl/
a less common variant of phial
Word Origin
C14: fiole, from Old French, from Old Provençal fiola, from Latin phiala, from Greek phialē; see phial
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 vial

c.1300, variant of fyole (see phial).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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