noun, plural: vacuoles
A membrane-bound vesicle found in the cytoplasm of a cell whose function includes intracellular secretion, excretion, storage, and digestion.
It can be found in animal and plant cells, and it can be especially conspicuous in plant cells.
Word origin: Latin vacuolum, diminutive form of vacuum.
Related forms: vacuolar (adjective).
Related terms: condensing vacuole, contractile vacuole, digestive vacuole, gas vacuole.