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 bank guarantees a vial will have 10 million or 15 million total motile sperm. New York Times, "The Sperm Kings Have a Problem: Too Much Demand," 8 Jan. 2021 Each vial has enough for 10 vaccinations but can sit at room temperature for only 12 hours. Author: Andrea Salcedo, Isaac Stanley-becker, Anchorage Daily News, "Wisconsin health care worker ‘intentionally’ ruined more than 500 coronavirus vaccine doses, hospital says," 31 Dec. 2020 But any remnants in a vial that isn’t enough for a full dose shouldn’t be combined with material from other vials, Ezike said. Sarah Freishtat,, "Illinois ramps up statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort, with entirety of state’s first shipment delivered," 17 Dec. 2020 The event was a slick production full of medical details such as how five doses are carried in each vial. Washington Post, "‘The weapon that will end the war’: First coronavirus vaccine shots given in U.S.," 14 Dec. 2020 Our vial is a new kind - a fusion of plastic and glass in the same material. William Thornton |, al, "Auburn firm busy preparing COVID-19 vaccine vials," 8 Dec. 2020 Users will have to use a swab to collect a nasal sample, then swirl it in a vial that plugs into a portable device that gives a readout. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Where did California go wrong?," 18 Nov. 2020 After the European Union’s drugs agency ruled on Jan. 8 that six doses could be obtained from a vial, the companies cut the number of vials delivered, arguing that their contract was for a certain amount of doses, not vials. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Europeans Clash With Pfizer, BioNTech Over Covid-19 Vaccine Deliveries," 20 Jan. 2021 Inspect each vial for particulate matter or discoloration. Rachana Pradhan, CNN, "The Covid-19 vaccine creates its own hurdles in the race to inoculate everyone," 14 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for vial

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on vial

Nglish: Translation of vial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vial for Arabic Speakers

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