from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vial.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See vial.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A glass vessel or bottle, especially a small bottle for medicines.
  • verb transitive To put or keep in, or as in, a phial.

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

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


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

[Middle English fiole, from Old French, from Late Latin fiola, shallow vessel, alteration of Latin phiala, from Greek phialē.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French fiole, from Latin phiala ("a broad, flat, shallow cup or bowl"), from Ancient Greek φιάλη (phiálē). Cognate to English vial.


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  • 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 1803

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

    The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories 1906

  • 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 2011

  • 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 2010

  • 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 2010

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

    Minnesota Menage Jack Swenson 2010

  • 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 2009

  • 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 2009

  • 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 Marina Geigert 2009

  • 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 2009


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