Definition of follicle in English:



  • 1Anatomy
    A small secretory cavity, sac, or gland.

    • ‘These drugs penetrate the follicle and sebaceous gland well and decrease colonization by P. acnes.’
    • ‘Inside the gland, multiple follicle pouches join to form excretory ducts, which empty into the urethra.’
    • ‘Then, a fluidfilled space develops, to form the antrum of a tertiary follicle.’
    • ‘Retention of the sebaceous secretions, and dilation of the follicle, may lead to cyst formation.’
    • ‘Associated with the follicle are sebaceous glands and the arrector pili smooth muscle fiber bundle.’
    bag, pouch, bladder, blister
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The sheath of cells and connective tissue which surrounds the root of a hair.
      • ‘Laser systems emit a beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle.’
      • ‘But with first-time waxers, the hair follicle is often surrounded by something similar to a whitehead, so when you rip it out it can cause a bit of bleeding.’
      • ‘They result when oil, dead skin cells and bacteria trapped in the hair follicle cause it to swell and eventually burst.’
      • ‘An expensive and often painful procedure, it involves inserting a needle directly into the hair follicle to electrocute the root.’
      • ‘Genetic profiling revealed 97 genes that were ‘switched on’ in the hair follicle stem cells.’
      • ‘The usual remedies for unwanted hair include plucking, shaving, waxing or chemical depilatories, but all of them are temporary, as none damage the hair follicle.’
      • ‘Electrolysis involves inserting a needle under your skin in order to zap an electric current through your hair follicle and damage it.’
      • ‘Tiny needles are inserted into the hair follicle followed by an electrical charge that damages it, causing it to stop producing hair.’
      • ‘Folliculitis presents with a subcorneal pustule in the opening of a hair follicle, with surrounding neutrophilic infiltrate.’
      • ‘Eventually the hair follicle dies and the hair is permanently lost.’
      • ‘In hair follicle cells, for example, the wingless gene changes stem cells to skin cells.’
      • ‘When DHT is produced locally within the hair follicle, it causes regular hairs to turn into miniature hairs, eventually killing the hair follicle.’
      • ‘The cells that supply the hair follicle remain active, so the potential for re-growth is always there.’
      • ‘Pro-vitamin B5 and zinc serve as backup, latching on to the binding sites in the hair follicle where DHT would do its damage.’
      • ‘The oily sebum rises up through the hair follicle, providing lubrication for your skin and hair.’
      • ‘This ingredient exfoliates the surface of the skin and reduces inflammation in the hair follicle, helping the hair to break through.’
      • ‘Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, which is made up of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland and a hair.’
      • ‘The hair follicle is located under the skin, houses the hair bulb and root, and is responsible for the hair's growth.’
      • ‘No one had been able to isolate stem cells from the hair follicle in this way before.’
      • ‘Further, research also shows that Benzoyl Peroxide will get rid of the hair follicle of dead cells to prevent further plugging of pores.’
    2. 1.2
      • ‘A value of less than 10 antral follicles suggests reduced ovarian reserve.’
      • ‘The ovary consists of a cortical zone composed of a specialized stroma, which contains follicles with ova.’
      • ‘In most normal human menstrual cycles only one follicle reaches full maturity, to be released at ovulation, on about day 14.’
      • ‘And your brain is putting out follicle stimulating hormone, trying to get the ovary to respond.’
      • ‘De Graaf, working without the aid of a microscope, made the error of thinking that the fluid-filled follicles were the ova themselves.’
  • 2Botany
    A dry fruit that is derived from a single carpel and opens on one side only to release its seeds.

    • ‘If you wish to sow, allow plumeria seed pods, or follicles, to ripen on the tree.’
    • ‘The fruits produced by these partially emasculated flowers were single follicles and contained relatively few seeds.’
    • ‘To sow the seed, allow the pods, or follicles, to ripen on the tree.’
    • ‘A fruit may consist of a single follicle or two joined follicles.’
    • ‘The three fruits that were formed by flowers in the emasculation treatment were single follicles.’


Late Middle English: from Latin folliculus ‘little bag’, diminutive of follis ‘bellows’.