[ ves-uhl ]
See synonyms for: vesselvesselsvesseled on

  1. a craft for traveling on water, now usually one larger than an ordinary rowboat; a ship or boat.

  2. an airship.

  1. a hollow or concave utensil, as a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase, used for holding liquids or other contents.

  2. Anatomy, Zoology. a tube or duct, as an artery or vein, containing or conveying blood or some other body fluid.

  3. Botany. a duct formed in the xylem, composed of connected cells that have lost their intervening partitions, that conducts water and mineral nutrients.: Compare tracheid.

  4. a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, especially something nonmaterial: a vessel of grace;a vessel of wrath.

Origin of vessel

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French va(i)ssel, vessel, from Latin vāscellum, from vās “vessel” (cf. vase) + -cellum, diminutive suffix

Other words from vessel

  • vesseled; especially British, vesselled, adjective
  • un·ves·seled, adjective

Words that may be confused with vessel

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

How to use vessel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vessel


/ (ˈvɛsəl) /

  1. any object used as a container, esp for a liquid

  2. a passenger or freight-carrying ship, boat, etc

  1. an aircraft, esp an airship

  2. anatomy a tubular structure that transports such body fluids as blood and lymph

  3. botany a tubular element of xylem tissue consisting of a row of cells in which the connecting cell walls have broken down

  4. rare a person regarded as an agent or vehicle for some purpose or quality: she was the vessel of the Lord

Origin of vessel

C13: from Old French vaissel, from Late Latin vascellum urn, from Latin vās 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

Scientific definitions for vessel


[ vĕsəl ]

  1. A blood vessel.

  2. A long, continuous column made of the lignified walls of dead vessel elements, along which water flows in the xylem of angiosperms.

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