One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The dilated lower end of the thoracic duct, between the aorta and the first and second lumbar vertebrae, in which lymph from the lower part of the body collects.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in James Drake (d. 1707), political and medical writer. From scientific Latin cisterna chyli from classical Latin cisterna + chȳlī, genitive singular of chȳlus.
cisterna chyli/sɪsˌtəːnə ˈkʌɪli/
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