• synonyms


[fahy-uh l]
See more synonyms for phial on Thesaurus.com
  1. vial.
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Origin of phial

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin phiala saucer < Greek phiálē; replacing Middle English phiole, fiole < Middle French fiole < Latin, as above
Related formsphi·al·ine [fahy-uh-lin, -lahyn] /ˈfaɪ ə lɪn, -ˌlaɪn/, adjective
Can be confusedfile phial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

vial, glass, urn, jar, jug, flask, bottle, beaker, chalice, decanter, canteen, carafe, ewer, soldier, flagon, cruet, phial, ampoule, ampul, crock

Examples from the Web for phial

Historical Examples

  • Then strain it through muslin, and keep it tightly-corked in a phial.

    Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches

    Eliza Leslie

  • He poured half a phial over his cravat, his pocket-handkerchief, his sleeves.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • Hurriedly he removed the plate from the pillow and replaced the phial of liquid.

  • As she spoke she drew from her bosom a phial, containing a dark liquid.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns

    Nathaniel Ames

  • Trembling, he lifted the phial of bat's blood, drank it down.


    Roger Arcot

British Dictionary definitions for phial


  1. a small bottle for liquids; vial
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French fiole, from Latin phiola saucer, from Greek phialē wide shallow vessel
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

Word Origin and History for phial


late 14c., from Old French fiole "flask, phial" (12c.), probably from Medieval Latin phiola, from Latin phiala, from Greek phiale "broad, flat drinking vessel," of unknown origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper