vessel

noun

ves·​sel ˈve-səl How to pronounce vessel (audio)
1
a
: a container (such as a cask, bottle, kettle, cup, or bowl) for holding something
b
: a person into whom some quality (such as grace) is infused
a child of light, a true vessel of the LordH. J. Laski
2
: a watercraft bigger than a rowboat
especially : ship sense 1
3
a
: a tube or canal (such as an artery) in which a body fluid is contained and conveyed or circulated
b
: a conducting tube in the xylem of a vascular plant formed by the fusion and loss of end walls of a series of cells

Example Sentences

a new ocean liner that claims to be the largest commercial vessel afloat any vessel that is buoyant and steerable can be entered in the annual race down the river
Recent Examples on the Web Following the news of Takahashi’s death, his YMO bandmate Sakamoto posted a gray square on social media, which served a vessel for fans to leave tributes to Takahashi. Rolling Stone, 15 Jan. 2023 Last year, the German brand PIZZycle debuted the Tupperware of pizza containers, a reusable vessel studded with ventilation holes on its sides. Saahil Desai, The Atlantic, 13 Jan. 2023 Thomas II has become a vessel for this team’s emotions, one of the many roles nobody signed up for. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Jan. 2023 Ever Given stops shipping Back in 2021, a vessel operated by Evergreen Marine infamously blocked the Suez Canal, causing huge disruption across international supply chains. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 9 Jan. 2023 Previously endorsed by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, J Street, and an array of unions, Levin offers progressives a unifying vessel to rally behind in a state hospitable for a strong Democratic performance. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 Artful exterior aside, Origami is a support vessel at heart. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 5 Jan. 2023 With his sleeve of tattoos, bushy beard and mop of hair that extends to the back of his jersey, Adams would look right at home aboard a large fishing vessel. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2023 If possible, make it in a vessel that can slide from stovetop to oven, because nothing says self-care like one fewer pot to wash. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin vascellum, diminutive of Latin vas vase, vessel

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vessel was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vessel

Cite this Entry

“Vessel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vessel. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

vessel

noun
ves·​sel ˈves-əl How to pronounce vessel (audio)
1
: a hollow utensil (as a cup or bowl) for holding something
2
: a craft bigger than a rowboat for navigation of the water
especially : ship entry 1 sense 1
3
a
: a tube or canal (as a vein or artery) in which a body fluid is contained and carried or circulated
b
: a tube in the xylem of a vascular plant through which water passes

Medical Definition

vessel

noun
ves·​sel ˈves-əl How to pronounce vessel (audio)
: a tube or canal (as an artery, vein, or lymphatic) in which a body fluid (as blood or lymph) is contained and conveyed or circulated

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