- 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
- 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 for capillary
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.