1. A hollow or concave utensil for holding anything; a hollow receptacle of any kind, as a hogshead, a barrel, a firkin, a bottle, a kettle, a cup, a bowl, etc.
"[They drank] out of these noble vessels." -- Chaucer.
2. A general name for any hollow structure made to float upon the water for purposes of navigation; especially, one that is larger than a common rowboat; as, a war vessel; a passenger vessel.
"[He] began to build a vessel of huge bulk." -- Milton.
3. Fig.: A person regarded as receiving or containing something; esp. (Script.), one into whom something is conceived as poured, or in whom something is stored for use; as, vessels of wrath or mercy.
"He is a chosen vessel unto me." -- Acts ix. 15.
"[The serpent] fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom To enter." -- Milton.
4. (Anat.) Any tube or canal in which the blood or other fluids are contained, secreted, or circulated, as the arteries, veins, lymphatics, etc.
5. (Bot.) A continuous tube formed from superposed large cylindrical or prismatic cells (tracheæ), which have lost their intervening partitions, and are usually marked with dots, pits, rings, or spirals by internal deposition of secondary membranes; a duct.
See under Acoustic.
a woman; -- now applied humorously. "Giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel." 1 Peter iii. 7. "You are the weaker vessel." Shak.