Definition of lymphatic in US English:



  • 1Physiology
    attributive Relating to lymph or its secretion.

    ‘lymphatic vessels’
    ‘lymphatic drainage’
    • ‘These therapies involve turning patients at various angles to improve gas exchange, mobilization of secretions, and lymphatic drainage.’
    • ‘Lymph nodes also contain efferent lymphatic vessels, which lack Factor VIII staining.’
    • ‘Lymphatic watersheds represent divisions between lymphatic drainage regions that drain in opposite directions.’
    • ‘You've got arterial venous vessels and the lymphatic vessels return fluid and debris and cells from the interstitial fluid around the vessels, back to the venous circulation.’
    • ‘Manual drainage opens nonfunctioning lymphatic and venous connections and directs lymph through collateral vessels to adjacent normal lymphatics.’
  • 2archaic (of a person) pale, flabby, or sluggish.

    • ‘He was a lymphatic, half-witted Hindu youth, who lived his life in almost complete silence, because he spoke some Manipur dialect which nobody else understood, not even his Zerbadi wife.’
    • ‘He was of that soft, lymphatic temperament which it is almost impossible to keep within a moderate compass, particularly as in his case his lameness prevented his taking exercise.’
    sluggish, lethargic, enervated, unenergetic, listless, languid, torpid, inactive, inert, slow, slow-moving, sleepy, somnolent, drowsy, weary, tired, fatigued, heavy, apathetic
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  • A vessel, similar to a vein, that conveys lymph in the body.

    • ‘These cells were found minimally invading the liver, by direct extension, but were readily found within the lumina of blood vessels and lymphatics.’
    • ‘In addition, cancers can metastasize by penetrating into blood vessels, lymphatics, and body cavities.’
    • ‘The lymphatic system is a network of very fine vessels or tubes called lymphatics that drain lymph from all over the body.’
    • ‘All resection margins, blood vessels, lymphatics, and regional lymph nodes were free of tumor.’
    • ‘Invasion of neoplastic cells into blood vessels or lymphatics was present in all cases.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘frenzied, mad’): from Latin lymphaticus ‘mad’, from Greek numpholēptos ‘seized by nymphs’; now associated with lymph, on the pattern of words such as spermatic.