contractile vacuole

noun Cell Biology.

a membrane-enveloped cellular organelle, found in many microorganisms, that periodically expands, filling with water, and then contracts, expelling its contents to the cell exterior: thought to be important in maintaining hydrostatic equilibrium.

Nearby words

  1. contracted,
  2. contracted kidney,
  3. contracted pelvis,
  4. contractedly,
  5. contractile,
  6. contraction,
  7. contraction joint,
  8. contractive,
  9. contractively,
  10. contractor

Origin of contractile vacuole

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019