- Anatomy. one of the minute blood vessels between the terminations of the arteries and the beginnings of the veins.
- Also called capillary tube. a tube with a small bore.
Origin of capillary
Examples from the Web for capillaries
He knew nothing of the vessels which we now speak of as capillaries.Fathers of Biology
Well, Malpighi tried to discover the capillaries by this method, and failed.Experiments on Animals
Hence it is argued that their capillaries show the least permeability.
This vein runs to the liver, where it breaks up into capillaries.Elementary Zoology, Second Edition
Vernon L. Kellogg
The whole stream, on the other hand, passes through the capillaries of the lungs.Physiology
Ernest G. Martin
- resembling a hair; slender
- (of tubes) having a fine bore
- anatomy of or relating to any of the delicate thin-walled blood vessels that form an interconnecting network between the arterioles and the venules
- physics of or relating to capillarity
- anatomy any of the capillary blood vessels
- a fine hole or narrow passage in any substance
Word Origin and History for capillaries
1650s, "of or pertaining to the hair," from Latin capillaris "of hair," from capillus "hair" (of the head); perhaps related to caput "head" (but de Vaan finds this "difficult on the formal side" and "far from compelling, since capillus is a diminutive, and would mean 'little head', which hardly amounts to 'hair'"). Borrowed earlier as capillar (14c.). Meaning "taking place in capillary vessels" is from 1809. Capillary attraction attested from 1813. As a noun, "capillary blood vessel," from 1660s.
- Of or relating to the capillaries.
- Relating to or resembling a hair; fine and slender.
- Blood capillary.
- Any of the tiny blood vessels that connect the smallest arteries (arterioles) to the smallest veins (venules). Capillaries form a network throughout the body for the exchange of oxygen, metabolic waste products, and carbon dioxide between blood and tissue cells.