mid-14c., from Medieval Latin flasco "container, bottle," from Late Latin flasconem (nominative flasco) "bottle," which is of uncertain origin. A word common to Germanic and Romanic, but it is unclear whether the Latin or Germanic word is the original (or whether both might have got it from the Celts). Those who support a Germanic origin compare Old English flasce "flask, bottle" (which would have become modern English *flash), Old High German flaska, Middle Dutch flasce, German Flasche "bottle." If it is Germanic, the original sense might be "bottle plaited round, case bottle" (compare Old High German flechtan "to weave," Old English fleohtan "to braid, plait"), from Proto-Germanic base *fleh- (see flax).
Another theory traces the Late Latin word to a metathesis of Latin vasculum. "The assumption that the word is of Teut[onic] origin is chronologically legitimate, and presents no difficulty exc[ept] the absence of any satisfactory etymology" [OED]. The similar words in Finnish and Slavic are held to be from Germanic.
"large bottle for wine or liquor," mid-15c., from Old French flacon, flascon "small bottle, flask" (14c.), from Late Latin flasconem (nominative flasco) "bottle" (see flask).
1855, theater slang for "a failure in performance;" by 1862 it had acquired the general sense of "any ignominious failure or dismal flop," on or off the stage. It comes via the French phrase faire fiasco "turn out a failure" (19c.), from Italian far fiasco "suffer a complete breakdown in performance," literally "make a bottle," from fiasco "bottle," from Late Latin flasco "bottle" (see flask).
The literal sense of the image (if it is one) is obscure today, but "the usual range of fanciful theories has been advanced" [Ayto]. Century Dictionary says "perhaps in allusion to the bursting of a bottle," Weekley pronounces it impenetrable and compares French ramasser un pelle "to come a cropper (in bicycling), literally to pick up a shovel." OED keeps its distance and lets nameless "Italian etymologists" make nebulous reference to "alleged incidents in Italian theatrical history." Klein suggests Venetian glass-crafters tossing aside imperfect pieces to be made later into common flasks. But according to an Italian dictionary, fare il fiasco used to mean "to play a game so that the one that loses will pay the fiasco," in other words, he will buy the next bottle (of wine). If the dates are not objectionable, that plausibly connects the literal sense of the word with the notion of "a costly mistake."
1907, "sealed container holding a dose of medicine," from French ampul (1886), from Latin ampulla "flask, vial" (see ampoule). A modern borrowing of the word represented by Middle English ampoule. Related: Ampullaceous.
"seek for hollows underground by ramming the ground and observing the vibrations," 1929, ultimately from Scottish boss "hollow, empty" (1510s), which was earlier a noun meaning "small cask, wine flask" (late 14c.).
"distillation vessel used in old chemistry," late 14c., earlier limbeck (mid-14c.), from Old French alambic (13c.), via Old Spanish, from Arabic al-anbiq "distilling flask," via Persian, from Greek ambix "cup," a word of unknown, possibly Semitic, origin. Often spelled limbeck 15c.-17c. The al- is the Arabic definite article, "the."
mid-15c. (late 13c., Anglo-French), receptour, "a knowing harborer of criminals, heretics, etc.," from Old French receptour or directly from Latin receptor, agent noun from recipere "to hold, contain" (see receive). Molecular biology sense is from 1900. Compare receiver. A receptory (early 15c., from Medieval Latin) was, among other definitions, an alchemical flask for receiving distillates.