vi·​al | \ ˈvī(-ə)l How to pronounce vial (audio) \

Definition of vial

: a small closed or closable vessel especially for liquids

Examples of vial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The initial list price for Zulresso in the U.S. will be $7,450 per vial with a projected average cost of $34,000 per patient over the course of treatment. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The FDA Has Approved the First Postpartum Depression Drug—And It’s a Game-Changer," 20 Mar. 2019 In late December, Fresenius boosted prices for various versions of hydromorphone, including a 15% increase for a box of 10 vials, to about $90. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "Drugmakers Raise Prices Amid Shortages, Recalls," 18 Jan. 2019 Now, ownership of a vial said to contain moon dust, allegedly given by Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong to a neighbor, is embroiled in litigation. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Your Chance to Own a Piece of the Moon," 25 Nov. 2018 These days though, the fight to wipe out the disease doesn’t come just from the tip of a vaccine vial. Time, "How Imams, Royalty and Family Celebrations are Wiping Out Polio in Nigeria," 7 May 2018 Most hospitals in the northern counties carry an antivenom, which can cost thousands of dollars per vial. Jason Nark,, "Venomous passion: Pennsylvania's snake hunters head to the hills," 20 June 2018 Antivenom can cost thousands of dollars per vial in the United States, according to research from the University of Arizona. Melissa Gomez, New York Times, "Texas Man’s Near-Fatal Lesson: A Decapitated Snake Can Still Bite," 7 June 2018 In 1972 or thereabouts, Laura Murray's mom handed the 10-year-old a glass vial full of gray dust and a note. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Woman wants to keep moon dust she says Neil Armstrong gifted her, so she's suing NASA," 7 June 2018 La experiencia hizo que Slosberg y su padre, el ex representante estatal Irv Slosberg, defendieran la seguridad vial. Erika Pasantes Y John Maines, El Sentinel, "Tendencia mortal: Textear y manejar. Aumentan accidentes," 6 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vial

Dictionary Entries near vial





Via Lactea

Via Lascivia

via media

Statistics for vial

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vial

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce vial (audio) \

Kids Definition of vial

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


vi·​al | \ ˈvī(-ə)l How to pronounce vial (audio) \

Medical Definition of vial

: a small closed or closable vessel especially for liquids

called also phial

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on vial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vial

Spanish Central: Translation of vial

Nglish: Translation of vial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vial for Arabic Speakers

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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!