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

  • n. A small cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell, bound by a single membrane and containing water, food, or metabolic waste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large membrane-bound vesicle in a cell's cytoplasm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small air cell, or globular space, in the interior of organic cells, either containing air, or a pellucid watery liquid, or some special chemical secretions of the cell protoplasm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A minute cell or cavity in the tissue of organisms.
  • n. In anatomy, a minute space, vacuity, or interstice of tissue in which lymphatic vessels are supposed to originate.
  • n. In zoology, any minute vesicle or vacuity in the tissue of a protozoan, as an amœba.
  • n. In botany, a cavity of greater or less size within the protoplasmic mass of active vegetable cells, which is filled with water, or cell-sap as it is called.

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

  • n. a tiny cavity filled with fluid in the cytoplasm of a cell


French, from Latin vacuus, empty; see vacuum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin vacuolum, diminutive form of vacuum. (Wiktionary)


  • In the higher plants, at least, a nucleus occurs embedded in it; a watery liquid holding salts and saccharine substances in solution fills the space called the vacuole, inclosed by the protoplasm.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887

  • The protoplasm is more or less extensively excavated by fluid spaces, vacuoles; one clearer circular space or vacuole, which is invariably present, appears at intervals, enlarges gradually, and then vanishes abruptly, to reappear after a brief interval; this is called the contractile vacuole (c.v.).

    Text Book of Biology, Part 1: Vertebrata

  • As water evaporates out of the cell, the cell draws more water into the vacuole from other cells deeper inside the tree.

    O Tannenbaum

  • But it's a 6-brane vacuole, and at the press of a button, it's a year later.

    Who Do You Say I Am

  • The 76th amino acid may contribute to the PfCRT's function as a CQR determinant in P. falciparum by virtue of its effect on the CQ transport activity across the food vacuole membrane.

    Behe Responds

  • Mutations in the P. falciparum digestive vacuole transmmembrane proteins PfCRT and evidence for their role in cholorquine resistance.

    Behe Responds

  • They wrap themselves around the food particle and once enclosed it is embedded within a food vacuole for digestion.


  • Ciliates have permanent contractile vacuole pathways and pores where amoebas will release them from any point along the surface of its body.


  • In fact, the parasite itself grabs the drug and concentrates it ten-thousand-fold in its digestive vacuole.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • Mutations in the P. falciparum digestive vacuole transmembrane protein PfCRT and evidence for their role in chloroquine resistance.

    The Edge of Evolution


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