a small cavity, sac, or gland.
one of the small ovarian sacs containing an immature ovum; Graafian follicle.
Botany. a dry seed vessel, or pod, consisting of a single carpel, splitting at maturity only along the front part of the suture.

1640–50; < Latin folliculus small bag, shell, pod. See follis, -cle1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
follicle (ˈfɒlɪkəl)
1.  any small sac or cavity in the body having an excretory, secretory, or protective function: a hair follicle
2.  botany a dry fruit, formed from a single carpel, that splits along one side only to release its seeds: occurs in larkspur and columbine
[C17: from Latin folliculus small bag, from follis pair of bellows, leather money-bag]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1640s, from L. folliculus "little bag," dim. of follis "bellows, inflated ball," from PIE *bhol-n-, suffixed form of base *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

follicle fol·li·cle (fŏl'ĭ-kəl)

  1. A small bodily cavity or sac.

  2. A crypt or minute cul-de-sac or lacuna, such as the depression in the skin from which the hair emerges.

  3. An ovarian follicle.

  4. A spherical mass of cells usually containing a cavity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
follicle   (fŏl'ĭ-kəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A small, protective sac, gland, or cluster of cells in the body. In mammals, unfertilized eggs develop in follicles located in the ovaries. Hair grows from follicles in the skin.

  2. A dry, dehiscent fruit that develops from a single carpel, has a single chamber, and splits open along only one seam to release its seeds. The pod of the milkweed and the fruit of the magnolia are follicles.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
After hair grows to a particular length, it falls out and the lower part of the
  follicle is destroyed.
The hair follicle consists of two coats-an outer or dermic, and an inner or
Its full name is follicle stimulating hormone receptor.
First, stem cells stored in both the epidermal and follicle reserves raced to
  the injury site to help regenerate the skin.
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