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[am-puhl-uh, -poo l-uh] /æmˈpʌl ə, -ˈpʊl ə/
noun, plural ampullae
[am-puhl-ee, -poo l-ee] /æmˈpʌl i, -ˈpʊl i/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy. a dilated portion of a canal or duct, especially of the semicircular canals of the ear.
Zoology, Botany. any flask-shaped structure.
  1. a vessel for the wine and water used at the altar.
  2. a vessel for holding consecrated oil.
a two-handled bottle having a somewhat globular shape, made of glass or earthenware, used by the ancient Romans for holding oil, wine, or perfumes.
Ichthyology. ampulla of Lorenzini.
Origin of ampulla
< New Latin, Latin, equivalent to amphor(a) amphora + -la diminutive suffix, with normal vowel reduction and Greek ph rendered as p Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for ampullae


noun (pl) -pullae (-ˈpʊliː)
(anatomy) the dilated end part of certain ducts or canals, such as the end of a uterine tube
  1. a vessel for containing the wine and water used at the Eucharist
  2. a small flask for containing consecrated oil
a Roman two-handled bottle for oil, wine, or perfume
Derived Forms
ampullaceous (ˌæmpʊˈleɪʃəs), ampullaceal, adjective
ampullar (æmˈpʊlə), ampullary (æmˈpʊlərɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, diminutive of amphora
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ampullae



late 14c., type of globular ancient Roman vessel; see ampoule.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ampullae in Medicine

ampulla am·pul·la (ām-pul'ə, -pŭl'ə)
n. pl. am·pul·lae (-pul'ē, -pŭl'ē)
A dilated portion of a canal or duct, as in the semicircular canal of the ear.

am·pul'lar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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