Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A vial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A glass vessel or bottle, especially a small bottle for medicines.
  • v. To put or keep in, or as in, a phial.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A glass vessel or bottle, especially a small bottle for medicines; a vial.
  • transitive v. To put or keep in, or as in, a phial.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See vial.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small bottle that contains a drug (especially a sealed sterile container for injection by needle)

Etymologies

Middle English fiole, from Old French, from Late Latin fiola, shallow vessel, alteration of Latin phiala, from Greek phialē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French fiole, from Latin phiala ("a broad, flat, shallow cup or bowl"), from Ancient Greek φιάλη (phiálē). Cognate to English vial. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To suppose the eggs of the former microscopic animals to float in the atmosphere, and pass through the sealed glass phial, is so contrary to apparent nature, as to be totally incredible! and as the latter are viviparous, it is equally absurd to suppose, that their parents float universally in the atmosphere to lay their young in paste or vinegar!

    Note I

  • Round the neck of the phial was a label, and thereon was written this one word,

    The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories

  • And why, on 5 February, Colin Powell held up a phial in the UN security council, while he gave the "UK ricin plot" as a reason to go to war with Iraq.

    Letters: Chilcot should look at the ricin plot

  • As enchantingly shown in a sequence at a parfumerie in Grasse, Coco gets around to choosing the test phial bearing the number five.

    Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

  • Martin Hall, genial, white-coated head of research at the Natural History Museum's Department of Entomology, holds a miniature glass phial up to the harsh fluorescent light of his gleaming laboratory.

    Lords of the flies: the insect detectives

  • The other phial held a blackened grain of nickel-iron, barely big enough to see.

    Minnesota Menage

  • In the laboratory the encased hand holding the uranium phial quivers as an owl is lit by a police cars headlights on the perimeter.

    Downland Ballad I :Photo-disintegration

  • Another variety of witchcraft container is the glass phial which turns up in 18th-century contexts as a charm against evil creatures.

    An American Witch Bottle

  • I wrote a post for MwP that began with me thinking about a technique my friend uses for his workouts through to the phial of Billy Bob Thornton blood Angelina Jolie probably still has in a memory chest somewhere on to pink elephants and finally winding up in jewelry.

    How to Be Funny

  • It smells sweet and thick, and although the fragrance is alcohol-based and has a regular sort of consistence, one can't help but expect it to be gooey and oozing suggestively out of some ancient-looking phial.

    Mirra & Mirra by J & E Atkinsons: Perfume Review

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