con tractile vacuole

contractile vacuole

noun Cell Biology.
a membrane-enveloped cellular organelle, found in many microorganisms, that periodically expands, filling with water, and then contracts, expelling its contents to the cell exterior: thought to be important in maintaining hydrostatic equilibrium.

1875–80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

contractile vacuole
1877, from contractile (1706), from Fr. contractile, from L. contract-, pp. stem of contrahere (see contract).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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