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ampulla

[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)
1.
Anatomy. a dilated portion of a canal or duct, especially of the semicircular canals of the ear.
2.
Zoology, Botany. any flask-shaped structure.
3.
Ecclesiastical.
  1. a vessel for the wine and water used at the altar.
  2. a vessel for holding consecrated oil.
4.
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.
5.
Ichthyology, ampulla of Lorenzini.
Origin
< Neo-Latin, Latin, equivalent to amphor(a) amphora + -la diminutive suffix, with normal vowel reduction and Greek ph rendered as p
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ampullae

ampulla

/æmˈpʊlə/
noun (pl) -pullae (-ˈpʊliː)
1.
(anatomy) the dilated end part of certain ducts or canals, such as the end of a uterine tube
2.
(Christianity)
  1. a vessel for containing the wine and water used at the Eucharist
  2. a small flask for containing consecrated oil
3.
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

ampulla

n.

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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Encyclopedia Article for ampullae

a small narrow-necked, round-bodied vase for holding liquids, especially oil and perfumes. It was used in the ancient Mediterranean for toilet purposes and for anointing the bodies of the dead, being then buried with them. In early medieval times in Europe, ampullae were used in anointing kings. Both the name and the function of the ampulla have survived in Western Christianity, where it still designates the vessel containing the oil (chrism) consecrated by the bishop for ritual uses, especially in the sacraments of confirmation, orders, and extreme unction. It is used in the British coronation ceremony and is cited repeatedly by name in the coronation service; the ampulla of the regalia of the United Kingdom takes the form of a golden eagle with outspread wings. Perhaps the most celebrated ampulla in history was that known as la sainte ampoule ("the holy ampulla"), at Reims, from which the kings of France were anointed (legend said that it was brought from heaven by a dove for the coronation of Clovis); this ampulla was destroyed during the French Revolution.

Learn more about ampullae with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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