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From lymph +‎ -atic.


lymphatic (comparative more lymphatic, superlative most lymphatic)

  1. (anatomy) Pertaining to lymph or the lymphatic system.
  2. Lacking energy or enthusiasm; having characteristics once associated with an excess of lymph: lack of muscle tone, paleness, sluggishness, etc.
    • 1833, R. J. Bertin, translated by Charles W. Chauncy, Treatise on the Diseases of the Heart, and Great Vessels, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blnachard, page 188:
      Eleonore Lemindre, aged 34, tailoress, of a sanguine lymphatic temperament, having suffered great depression of spirits, experienced, in the course of 1820, symptoms of what is called disease of the heart.
    • 1859 December 13, Charles Dickens, “The Mortals in the House”, in Charles Dickens, editor, The Haunted House. The Extra Christmas Number of All the Year Round [], volume II, London: [] C. Whiting, [], →OCLC, page 5:
      Streaker, the housemaid, too, had an attribute of a most discomfiting nature. I am unable to say whether she was of an unusually lymphatic temperament, or what else was the matter with her, but this young woman became a mere Distillery for the production of the largest and most transparent tears I ever met with.
    • 1898, Thomas Hardy, “Lines”, in Wessex Poems and Other Verses[1], London: Macmillan & Co., published 1919, page 224:
      Who has not marked, where the full cheek should be,
      Incipient lines of lank flaccidity,
      Lymphatic pallor where the pink should glow,
      And where the throb of transport, pulses low?—
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days:
      He was a lymphatic, half-witted Hindu youth, who lived his life in almost complete silence []
    • 1961, V. S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas, Vintage International, published 2001, Part One, Chapter 4:
      Hari, the holy man, who was to be the pundit that day, was just as Mr Biswas remembered him, just as soft-spoken and lymphatic. His felt hat sat softly on his head. He greeted Mr Biswas without rancour, without pleasure, without interest.
  3. (obsolete) Madly enthusiastic; frantic.
    • 1638, Thomas Herbert, Some Yeares Travels into Africa and Asia the Great[2], Book I, p. 28:
      A Negro stood by all the while trembling, now and then lifting up his hands and eyes, muttering his black Art to some hobgoblin, and (when we least suspected it) skips out, and in a limphatic rapture drew a long knife which he brandisht about his head 7 or 8 times, and after so many spells put it up againe; he then kisses the humid earth 3 times and rises merrily: upon a sudden, the skie cleared and no more noise affrighted us.

Derived terms[edit]



lymphatic (plural lymphatics)

  1. (anatomy) A vessel that transports lymph.


See also[edit]