Definition of vesicle in US English:



  • 1Zoology Anatomy
    A small fluid-filled bladder, sac, cyst, or vacuole within the body.

    • ‘They are united by the presence of small vesicles in, or just under, the plasma membrane.’
    • ‘This process allows the vesicles to dock to that part of the membrane where the neurotransmitters are due to be released into the synapse (the active zone).’
    • ‘Both vesicles and bilayer patches were found not to move laterally over the time range of 10 min and more, except at relatively high imaging forces.’
    • ‘The prevailing model argues that specific proteins are shuttled around to their destinations, both within and outside the cell, in enclosed vesicles.’
    • ‘The two vesicles resemble small, bulbous pouches and are located just above the prostate gland.’
    bag, pouch, bladder, blister
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    1. 1.1Medicine A small blister full of clear fluid.
      • ‘In fact, she had beautiful skin apart from the scattered vesicles caused by the chicken pox.’
      • ‘Several hours or days following exposure, affected skin in a previously sensitized individual becomes itchy and red and may develop small vesicles or blisters.’
      • ‘Infected animals excrete virus in exhaled air, in saliva, in milk, in semen, in faeces, in urine and in ruptured vesicle fluid.’
      • ‘Chickenpox usually occurs in children, causing slight fever and an eruption of transparent vesicles (blisters).’
      • ‘Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite but within one-two days develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer.’
      bleb, bulla, pustule, vesication, blain
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  • 2Botany
    An air-filled swelling in a plant, especially a seaweed.

    • ‘No significant differences were observed in the composition of vesicles isolated from nitrate-treated and control roots (not shown).’
    • ‘Plant vesicle trafficking will serve similar functions to those seen in animals and yeast.’
    • ‘Here we report that this defect formation is strongly enhanced by the membrane tension induced by osmotic swelling of vesicles.’
    • ‘When resin vesicles are damaged during seed processing, the result is generally a decline in seed germination.’
    • ‘The properties of plasma membrane vesicles from wheat roots are also affected by deprivation of the intact plants.’
  • 3Geology
    A small cavity in volcanic rock, produced by gas bubbles in the molten lava.

    • ‘In some lavas, rising gas bubbles may stretch out to form tubular vesicles.’
    • ‘A variety of minerals were deposited in the hollow vesicles.’
    • ‘In the road cuts of both early and later construction, rock was blasted that contains zeolite-filled vesicles.’
    • ‘The gray bar in the middle of the image represents the virtual projection of spectrometer slit onto the vesicle.’
    • ‘Calcite, along with epidote, fills small vesicles in the basaltic dike rock.’
    space, chamber, hollow, hole, pocket, pouch
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Late 16th century: from French vésicule or Latin vesicula, diminutive of vesica ‘bladder’.