am·​pul·​la | \ am-ˈpu̇-lə How to pronounce ampulla (audio) , ˈam-ˌpyü-lə How to pronounce ampulla (audio) \
plural ampullae\ am-​ˈpu-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce ampulla (audio) , -​ˌlī , ˈam-​ˌpyü-​ \

Definition of ampulla

1 : a glass or earthenware flask with a globular body and two handles used especially by the ancient Romans to hold ointment, perfume, or wine
2 : a saccular anatomical swelling or pouch

Other Words from ampulla

ampullary \ am-​ˈpu̇-​lər-​ē How to pronounce ampulla (audio) , ˈam-​pyə-​ˌler-​ē \ adjective

First Known Use of ampulla

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ampulla

borrowed from Latin, going back to *amporela, diminutive of amphora amphora; (sense 2) borrowed from Medieval Latin, going back to Latin

Note: See also ampoule.

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The first known use of ampulla was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ampulla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for ampulla


am·​pul·​la | \ am-ˈpu̇-lə How to pronounce ampulla (audio) , ˈam-ˌpyü-lə How to pronounce ampulla (audio) \
plural ampullae\ -​ˌlē How to pronounce ampulla (audio) \

Medical Definition of ampulla

: a saccular anatomic swelling or pouch: as
a : the dilatation containing a patch of sensory epithelium at one end of each semicircular canal of the ear
b : one of the dilatations of the lactiferous tubules of the mammary glands that serve as reservoirs for milk
c(1) : the middle portion of the fallopian tube
(2) : the distal dilatation of a vas deferens near the opening of the duct leading from the seminal vesicle
d : a terminal dilatation of the rectum just before it joins the anal canal

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