Definition of utricle in English:



  • 1A small cell, sac, or bladder-like protuberance in an animal or plant.

    • ‘The cortical filaments are terminated by small swellings, called utricles, which form the external surface of the thallus.’
    • ‘Sauer consequently provided the name Amaranthus rudis for plants with a circumscissily dehiscent utricle and single, well developed sepal.’
    • ‘The analysis separates materials primarily based on bract to utricle length ratios and bract length followed by sepal number and utricle dehiscence.’
    • ‘Dehiscent fruits separate along the zone of dehiscence, the utricle cap (with the stigmas) falling free with the seed, the basal portion remaining on the inflorescence with attendant bracts and sepals.’
    bag, pouch, bladder, blister
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The larger of the two fluid-filled cavities forming part of the labyrinth of the inner ear (the other being the sacculus). It contains hair cells and otoliths which send signals to the brain concerning the orientation of the head.
      • ‘The receptor organ of posture and equilibrium is a composite one located in the semicircular canals, the utricle, and the saccule of the inner ear.’
      • ‘The utricle can thus send signals to the brain representing a combination of fore - aft and lateral motion of the head, whereas the saccule principally conveys information about vertical motion.’
      • ‘The neuromasts in the sacculus are apparently oriented oppositely from those in the utriculus.’
      • ‘In terrestrial vertebrates, otoconia are found in three inner-ear sensors, the saccule, the utricle, and the lagena.’
      • ‘The Epley manoeuvre entails a sequence of movements of head and trunk to rotate the posterior semicircular canal in a plane that displaces the plug of debris from the canal into the utricle of the inner ear, where it is inactive.’


Mid 18th century: from French utricule or Latin utriculus, diminutive of uter ‘leather bag’.