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[lak-tee-uh l] /ˈlæk ti əl/
pertaining to, consisting of, or resembling milk; milky.
Anatomy. conveying or containing chyle.
Anatomy. any of the minute lymphatic vessels that convey chyle from the small intestine to the thoracic duct.
Origin of lacteal
1625-35; < Latin lacte(us) milky (see lacteous) + -al1
Related forms
lacteally, adverb
nonlacteal, adjective
nonlacteally, adverb
prelacteal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lacteal
Historical Examples
  • They do not pass into the veins, but are taken up by the lacteal absorbents.

    The Action of Medicines in the System Frederick William Headland
  • I took a seven-year course in the gentle art of acquiring the lacteal fluid.

    Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • Many are its lacteal sources; and the clocks' hands point forever to milking time.

  • The general public subscribes to Mudie, and has its intellectual, like its lacteal sustenance, sent round to it in carts.

    Obiter Dicta Augustine Birrell
  • By this time milking was over, and the lacteal fluid was carried to the spring-house to cool.

    From Farm to Fortune Horatio Alger Jr.
  • The lacteal secretion is influenced in a very remarkable manner by the mental conditions of the mother.

    Plain Facts for Old and Young John Harvey Kellogg
  • After birth, the mother still possesses a molding influence upon the development of her child through the lacteal secretion.

    Plain Facts for Old and Young John Harvey Kellogg
  • If it be a milk-cow, the lacteal secretion is diminished, and the udder is hot and tender.

  • lacteal, lak′te-al, adj. pertaining to or resembling milk: conveying chyle.

  • Her expressionless face certainly did suggest a lacteal dulness.

    The Confounding of Camelia Anne Douglas Sedgwick
British Dictionary definitions for lacteal


of, relating to, or resembling milk
(of lymphatic vessels) conveying or containing chyle
any of the lymphatic vessels conveying chyle from the small intestine to the thoracic duct
Derived Forms
lacteally, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin lacteus of milk, from lac milk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lacteal

1650s, formed in English from Latin lacteus, from lac (genitive lactis) "milk," from PIE root *glakt- (see lactation) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lacteal in Medicine

lacteal lac·te·al (lāk'tē-əl)

  1. Of, relating to, or resembling milk.

  2. Of or relating to a lacteal.

Any of numerous minute intestinal lymph-carrying vessels that convey chyle from the intestine to lymphatic circulation and thereby to the thoracic duct. Also called chyle vessel.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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