[ ves-i-kuhl ]
See synonyms for vesicle on
  1. a small sac or cyst.

  2. Biology. a small bladderlike cavity, especially one filled with fluid.

  1. Pathology. a circumscribed elevation of the epidermis containing serous fluid; blister.

  2. 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

Words Nearby vesicle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vesicle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vesicle


/ (ˈvɛsɪkəl) /

  1. pathol

    • any small sac or cavity, esp one containing serous fluid

    • a blister

  2. geology a rounded cavity within a rock formed during solidification by expansion of the gases present in the magma

  1. botany a small bladder-like cavity occurring in certain seaweeds and aquatic plants

  2. any small cavity or cell

Origin of vesicle

C16: from Latin vēsīcula, diminutive of vesica

Derived forms of vesicle

  • vesicular (vɛˈsɪkjʊlə), adjective
  • vesicularly, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for vesicle


[ vĕsĭ-kəl ]

  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.

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

Other words from vesicle

  • vesicular adjective (vĕ-sĭkyə-lər, və-)

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.