weaker vessel


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vessel \Ves"sel\, n. [OF. vessel, veissel, vaissel, vaissiel, F.
   vaisseau, fr. L. vascellum, dim. of vasculum, dim. of vas a
   vessel. Cf. Vascular, Vase.]
   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.
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            [They drank] out of these noble vessels. --Chaucer.
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   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.
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            [He] began to build a vessel of huge bulk. --Milton.
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   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.
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            He is a chosen vessel unto me.        --Acts ix. 15.
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            [The serpent] fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in
            whom
            To enter.                             --Milton.
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   4. (Anat.) Any tube or canal in which the blood or other
      fluids are contained, secreted, or circulated, as the
      arteries, veins, lymphatics, etc.
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   5. (Bot.) A continuous tube formed from superposed large
      cylindrical or prismatic cells (tracheae), which have lost
      their intervening partitions, and are usually marked with
      dots, pits, rings, or spirals by internal deposition of
      secondary membranes; a duct.
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   Acoustic vessels. See under Acoustic.

   Weaker vessel, 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.
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