a. A small bodily cavity or sac.
b. A crypt or minute cul-de-sac or lacuna, such as the depression in the skin from which the hair emerges.
c. An ovarian follicle.
d. A spherical mass of cells usually containing a cavity.
2. Botany A dry, single-chambered fruit that splits along only one seam to release its seeds, as in larkspur and milkweed.
[Latin folliculus, little bag, diminutive of follis, bellows; see bhel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)follicle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.