Word Origin pertaining to or occurring in or as if in a tube of fine bore. resembling a strand of hair; hairlike. . Physics pertaining to capillarity. of or relating to the apparent attraction or repulsion between a liquid and a solid, observed in capillarity. . Anatomy pertaining to a capillary or capillaries. noun, plural cap·il·lar·ies. . 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 1570–80; capill(ar
) (obsolete, <
pertaining to hair, equivalent to
) hair +
-āris -ar 1
-ary Related forms in·ter·cap·il·lar·y, adjective non·cap·il·lar·y, adjective, noun, plural non·cap·il·lar·ies.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for capillary tube a glass tube with a fine bore and thick walls, used in thermometers, etc 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
C17: from Latin
capillāris, from capillus hair
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for capillary tube capillary adj.
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
capillary tube in Medicine capillary (kăp ′ə-lĕr′ē) Of or relating to the capillaries. Relating to or resembling a hair; fine and slender.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
capillary tube in Science 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
capillary tube in Culture capillary [( kap-uh-ler-ee)] Note
The interaction between the fluid and the vessel walls produces a
that can lift the fluid up into the tube, a phenomenon known as capillary action.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.