lym·​phat·​ic | \ lim-ˈfa-tik How to pronounce lymphatic (audio) \

Definition of lymphatic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or produced by lymph, lymphoid tissue, or lymphocytes
b : conveying lymph
2 : lacking physical or mental energy : sluggish



Definition of lymphatic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a vessel that contains or conveys lymph

called also lymph vessel

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Other Words from lymphatic


lymphatically \ lim-​ˈfa-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lymphatically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?


Lymph is a pale liquid in the body that helps maintain fluid balance and removes bacteria from tissues. Today, we understand that lymph plays an important role in the body's immune system. In the past, however, it was commonly believed that an excess of lymph caused sluggishness - hence the "sluggish" meaning of "lymphatic." The word lymph comes from Latin lympha ("water" or "water goddess"), which itself may be a modification of the Greek word nymphē, meaning "nymph." Both "lymph" and its related adjective "lymphatic" have been used in English since the mid-17th century.

Examples of lymphatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Studies have found that the machine can help reduce lymphatic fluid retention, particularly in people who have had cancer treatments or are significantly overweight. Kate Solomon,, "I Tried This Tik Tok-Approved Leg Machine To See If It Could Cure My Ills," 4 Nov. 2020 Skeeters are vectors for a host of nasty diseases, including malaria, dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Zika, chikungunya, and lymphatic filariasis. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "The 12 Deadliest Insects in the World," 19 Oct. 2020 The image captures the zebrafish’s bones and scales in fluorescent blue and its lymphatic vessels in orange. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "From a Zebrafish to Nylon Stockings, See This Year’s Small World Photography Winners," 15 Oct. 2020 The ethereal image also happened to represent a groundbreaking find: Zebrafish have lymphatic vessels in their skulls that closely resemble those in mammals and humans. Oliver Whang, National Geographic, "See the stunning world invisible to the naked eye," 13 Oct. 2020 There are soft-tissue techniques that augment lymphatic flow. Algernon D'ammassa, USA TODAY, "Trump's doctor may be the first osteopath to serve as presidential physician," 6 Oct. 2020 In this episode of Go to Bed with Me, the actress, who recently starred in Ryan Murphy's Netflix series Hollywood, breaks down her nighttime routine for glowing skin, plus her tips for at-home lymphatic drainage. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Laura Harrier's Nighttime Skin Care Routine," 2 Oct. 2020 Your lymph nodes, which are connected to each other, filter out substances that travel through your lymphatic fluid, the NCI explains., "Are Swollen Glands a Sign of COVID-19? Here's What Doctors Say," 1 Oct. 2020 Turn your bedroom into an ancient Roman bathhouse with Esker's oil cleansing Body Plane, promoting lymphatic drainage while exfoliating dead skin cells along your body. Talia Gutierrez, Glamour, "The Best New Beauty Products We Tried In July," 31 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Your lymphatics that control your immune system have no muscle in their walls. CBS News, "Transcript: Dr. David Agus speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 8 Apr. 2020 In 2012, research in the laboratory of Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, identified what appears to be the brain’s waste clearance pathway, the glymphatic (glial-lymphatic) system. Quanta Magazine, "Sleeping Brain Waves Draw a Healthy Bath for Neurons," 16 Dec. 2019 But Ryan Petrie, a cell biologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the study, thinks Lee’s lymphatics-on-a-chip model has promise for understanding the mechanism of integrin alpha-5 in lymphedema. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Lymph vessels on a chip reveal possible new drug target for lymphedema," 13 Dec. 2019 The scientists anxiously examined the fish for evidence that the chaotic lymphatic vessel proliferation had stopped but that nothing else had been harmed. STAT, "The boy was dying. Zebrafish helped save his life," 1 July 2019 Scraping off your dead stratum corneum cells has no effect on your lymphatics or digestive system. Lori Keong, Marie Claire, "Should You Be Dry Brushing Your Skin? An Investigation," 18 Sep. 2017 Nedergaard and Helene Benveniste, a scientist at Yale University, have found evidence linking problems in the lymphatic and glymphatic systems to Alzheimer’s. David Kohn, Washington Post, "When scientists saw the mouse heads glowing, they knew the discovery was big," 21 May 2017 Ducks’ erections are driven by lymphatic, not vascular, pressure, which means that their penises never become stiff. Richard O. Prum, The New Yorker, "Duck Sex and the Patriarchy," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lymphatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lymphatic


1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1667, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lymphatic

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The first known use of lymphatic was in 1649

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lymphatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for lymphatic


lym·​phat·​ic | \ lim-ˈfa-tik How to pronounce lymphatic (audio) \

Kids Definition of lymphatic

: relating to or carrying lymph a lymphatic duct


lym·​phat·​ic | \ lim-ˈfat-ik How to pronounce lymphatic (audio) \

Medical Definition of lymphatic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or produced by lymph, lymphoid tissue, or lymphocytes lymphatic nodules lymphatic infiltration
b : conveying lymph a lymphatic channel
2 : lacking physical or mental energy

Other Words from lymphatic

lymphatically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lymphatically (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of lymphatic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a vessel that contains or conveys lymph, that originates as an interfibrillar or intercellular cleft or space in a tissue or organ, and that if small has no distinct walls or walls composed only of endothelial cells and if large resembles a vein in structure

called also lymphatic vessel, lymph vessel

— see thoracic duct

More from Merriam-Webster on lymphatic

Nglish: Translation of lymphatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lymphatic for Arabic Speakers

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