fol·​li·​cle | \ ˈfä-li-kəl How to pronounce follicle (audio) \

Definition of follicle

1a : a small anatomical cavity or deep narrow-mouthed depression
b : a small lymph node
c : a vesicle in the mammalian ovary that contains a developing egg surrounded by a covering of cells especially : graafian follicle
2 : a dry dehiscent one-celled many-seeded fruit (as of the milkweed) that has a single carpel and opens along one suture

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Other Words from follicle

follicular \ fə-​ˈli-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce follicular (audio) , fä-​ \ adjective

Examples of follicle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each follicle grows hair for a few years and then stops and the hair falls out. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Patchy success for most baldness treatments," 26 Aug. 2019 This will soften the hair and open up the follicles. Natalie Gontcharova, Good Housekeeping, "8 Mistakes You're Making When Shaving Your Legs," 27 Sep. 2019 That maturing follicle gives off the hormone estrogen, which makes the lining of your uterus get thicker. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Stop Your Period With Birth Control," 16 Jan. 2019 And when ovarian tissue was dried for more than ten minutes, only a fraction of the follicles, which contain immature eggs, survived. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Scientists Pumped Ovarian Tissue Full of Sugar and Microwaved It. Here’s Why," 10 Dec. 2019 Fast-forward to approximately day 14 (in a 28-day cycle, at least), which is when that growing follicle actually bursts to release an egg from the ovary. Maggie O'neill,, "How Long is a Menstrual Cycle, Anyway?," 29 Aug. 2019 Corpus luteum cysts: After your follicle releases an egg, the empty sac shrinks and becomes a mass of cells called corpus luteum. Korin Miller, SELF, "What to Do If You Think an Ovarian Cyst Burst," 9 Oct. 2019 The sperms are the moonbeams and sunbeams and shadows of every thought, half thought, and follicle of feeling that have attended you since your first breath of hardship. Ian Parker, The New Yorker, "Edna O’Brien Is Still Writing About Women on the Run," 7 Oct. 2019 And when a normal chicken is developing, certain cells, like those in the skin and feather follicles, express EDN3, which triggers the migration of melanoblasts, or the cells that go on to create color. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "This chicken has black bones, organs, and meat: Here’s why.," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'follicle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of follicle

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for follicle

New Latin folliculus, from Latin, diminutive of follis bag — more at fool

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Time Traveler for follicle

Time Traveler

The first known use of follicle was in 1646

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Statistics for follicle

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Follicle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for follicle


How to pronounce follicle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of follicle

: a tiny hole in the skin from which a hair grows


fol·​li·​cle | \ ˈfäl-i-kəl How to pronounce follicle (audio) \

Medical Definition of follicle

1 : a small anatomical cavity or deep narrow-mouthed depression especially : a small simple or slightly branched gland : crypt
2 : a small lymph node
3 : a vesicle in the mammalian ovary that contains a developing egg surrounded by a covering of cells : ovarian follicle especially : graafian follicle

Other Words from follicle

follicular \ fə-​ˈlik-​yə-​lər, fä-​ How to pronounce follicular (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on follicle

Spanish Central: Translation of follicle

Nglish: Translation of follicle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on follicle

What made you want to look up follicle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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