AskDefine | Define chyle

Dictionary Definition

chyle n : a milky fluid consisting of lymph and emulsified fats; formed in the small intestine during digestion of ingested fats

User Contributed Dictionary



Late Latin chylus, from Greek χωλος ‘animal or plant juice’.



  1. A digestive fluid containing fatty droplets, found in the small intestine.
    • 1922: And we stuffing food in one hole and out behind: food, chyle, blood, dung, earth, food: have to feed it like stoking an engine. — James Joyce, Ulysses

Extensive Definition

Chyle is a milky fluid (bodily fluid) consisting of lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids (FFAs). It is formed in the small intestine during digestion of ingested fatty foods and taken up by lymph vessels specifically known as lacteals, unlike other components of digested food that are conveyed by veins. The lacteals are much better suited for the transport of free fatty acids away from the gastrointestinal tract. Free fatty acids can be rather large molecules. As a vessel of the lymphatic system fluid flows easily into lacteals because there is a lower pressure in those vessels.


A chyle fistula is a leakage of lymphatic fluid from the lymphatic vessels, typically accumulating in the thoracic or abdominal cavities.


External links

See also:chylomicron
chyle in French: Chyle
chyle in Italian: Chilo (fisiologia)
chyle in Turkish: Kilüs
chyle in Urdu: خلط
chyle in Chinese: 乳糜
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