vi·​al | \ˈvī(-ə)l \

Definition of vial 

: a small closed or closable vessel especially for liquids

Examples of vial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Then on June 18, records show the addition of 15 five-gram vials. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "With 7 execution dates on the calendar, Texas just got more lethal injection drugs," 6 July 2018 Privacy - Terms Authorities say that Gonzalez arranged to sell $800 worth of marijuana oil vials to teenagers Silas Spence and Lucas Seeger, who showed up at the gym in a Mercedes with a plan to rob. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Famed for Kendall Toyota ads, he's now indicted on charges linked to deadly drug deal," 27 June 2018 To participate in All of US, NIH had to convince people to hand over their confidential health records, not to mention dozens of vials of blood and urine. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "The Life, Death, and Dream of a Research Diversity Crusader," 10 June 2018 At the time, the list price of the medicine was $1,237 for a package of five vials. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Lexington biotech wins approval for a drug everyone hopes is never needed," 6 June 2018 Dunn and his colleagues collected hundreds of these vials and extracted DNA fragments out of each of them. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Ind., rows of vials await testing. NBC News, "Omissions on death certificates lead to undercounting of opioid overdoses," 29 Mar. 2018 During the summer, Yosemite keeps a small supply of anti-venom on hand for cases like mine, but those vials had been used the previous year and hadn’t yet been restocked. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018 Johnston County Community College now trains nearly 300 people a year to work in biotech, teaching them how to wear sterile gowns safely and fill vials with drugs. Max Blau, STAT, "In the ‘diabetes belt,’ a small town grapples with growth of the world’s largest insulin maker," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vial.' 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 vial

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vial

Middle English fiole, viole, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin fiola, alteration of Latin phiala — more at phial

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Dictionary Entries near vial





Via Lactea

Via Lascivia

via media

Statistics for vial

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for vial

The first known use of vial was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for vial



English Language Learners Definition of vial

: a very small glass or plastic container used for perfumes, medicines, etc.


vi·​al | \ˈvī-əl \

Kids Definition of vial

: a small container (as for medicines) that is usually made of glass or plastic


vi·​al | \ˈvī(-ə)l \

Medical Definition of vial 

: a small closed or closable vessel especially for liquids

called also phial

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Comments on vial

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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