Share this entry

lymph Line breaks: lymph

Definition of lymph in English:


[mass noun]
1 Physiology A colourless fluid containing white blood cells, which bathes the tissues and drains through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream.
Example sentences
  • This includes cell salts, fatty tissue, lymph, red and white blood cells, two glands of the endocrine system and even the bones.
  • The lymphatic system is a network of very fine vessels or tubes called lymphatics that drain lymph from all over the body.
  • This injection also identifies the lymphatic basins, nodal areas, and respective lymph draining sites that are considered to be at risk for metastases.
1.1Fluid exuding from a sore or inflamed tissue.
Example sentences
  • He did not know the specific infective agent but was certain that a treatment would soon be available in the form of a ‘vaccine of Pasteur or lymph of Koch.’
  • Legs become scaly, swollen, and exude lymph fluid.
  • In 1798, the British physician Edward Jenner used a milkmaid's lymph containing cowpox virus to vaccinate a child.
2 literary Pure water.
Example sentences
  • I refreshed myself in the mid-day heat by drinking its pure lymph from the hollow of my hand, and gazed with long and insatiable delight upon the memorable fountain.


Late 16th century (in sense 2): from French lymphe or Latin lympha, limpa 'water'.

Words that rhyme with lymph


Definition of lymph in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person