[ves-i-kuh l]
See more synonyms for vesicle on
  1. a small sac or cyst.
  2. Biology. a small bladderlike cavity, especially one filled with fluid.
  3. Pathology. a circumscribed elevation of the epidermis containing serous fluid; blister.
  4. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for vesicle

blister, cavity, bladder, cell, cyst, utricle

Examples from the Web for vesicle

Historical Examples of vesicle

British Dictionary definitions for vesicle


  1. pathol
    1. any small sac or cavity, esp one containing serous fluid
    2. a blister
  2. geology a rounded cavity within a rock formed during solidification by expansion of the gases present in the magma
  3. botany a small bladder-like cavity occurring in certain seaweeds and aquatic plants
  4. any small cavity or cell
Derived Formsvesicular (vɛˈsɪkjʊlə), adjectivevesicularly, adverb

Word Origin for vesicle

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

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

vesicle in Medicine


  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.

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.
Related formsvesicular adjective (vĕ-sĭkyə-lər, və-)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.