[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. lactated ringer's injection,
  2. lactated ringer's solution,
  3. lactation,
  4. lactation amenorrhea,
  5. lactation tetany,
  6. lacteally,
  7. lacteous,
  8. lactescent,
  9. lacti-,
  10. lactic

Origin of lacteal

1625–35; < Latin lacte(us) milky (see lacteous) + -al1

Related formslac·te·al·ly, adverbnon·lac·te·al, adjectivenon·lac·te·al·ly, adverbpre·lac·te·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lacteal

British Dictionary definitions for lacteal


/ (ˈlæktɪəl) /


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 Formslacteally, adverb

Word Origin for lacteal

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

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

Medicine definitions for lacteal


[ lăktē-əl ]


Of, relating to, or resembling milk.
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.chyle vessel

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.