- 1. A minute space in any tissue. 2. A clear space in the substance of a cell, sometimes degenerative in character, sometimes surrounding an englobed foreign body and serving as a temporary cell stomach for the digestion of the body. [Mod. L. vacuolum, dim. of L. vacuum, an empty space]- contractile v. a cavity formed by the accumulation of fluid in the ectoplasm of a protozoan; after increasing for a time it empties itself externally by a sudden contraction; it functions as an osmoregulatory mechanism for water balance, especially in freshwater protozoans.- digestive v. SYN: secondary lysosomes, under lysosome.- parasitophorous v. a v. formed by layers of endoplasmic reticulum around an intracellular parasite which may serve to isolate the parasite and enclose it for lysozymal attack.
* * *vac·u·ole 'vak-yə-.wōl n1) a small cavity or space in the tissues of an organism containing air or fluid2) a cavity or vesicle in the cytoplasm of a cell containing fluid
* * *n.a space within the cytoplasm of a cell, formed by infolding of the cell membrane, that contains material taken in by the cell. White blood cells form vacuoles when they surround and digest bacteria and other foreign material.
* * *vac·u·ole (vakґu-ōl) [L. vacuus empty + -ole diminutive ending] any membrane-bound space or cavity within a cell. vacuolar adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.