- Also called capillary action, capillary attraction. Physics. a manifestation of surface tension by which the portion of the surface of a liquid coming in contact with a solid is elevated or depressed, depending on the adhesive or cohesive properties of the liquid.
Origin of capillarity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a phenomenon caused by surface tension and resulting in the distortion, elevation, or depression of the surface of a liquid in contact with a solidAlso called: capillary action
Word Origin and History for capillary-action
1806, from French capillarité, from Latin capillaris (see capillary).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The interaction between contacting surfaces of a liquid and a solid that distorts the liquid surface from a planar shape.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.