capillarity

noun

cap·​il·​lar·​i·​ty ˌka-pə-ˈler-ə-tē How to pronounce capillarity (audio)
-ˈla-rə-
plural capillarities
1
: the property or state of being capillary
2
: the action by which the surface of a liquid where it is in contact with a solid (as in a capillary tube) is elevated or depressed depending on the relative attraction of the molecules of the liquid for each other and for those of the solid

Examples of capillarity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But 18 species of hummingbirds did, eventually, feed at the transparent flowers, and the cameras saw a mechanism very different than capillarity at work. K. N. Smith, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2015 Because of this pair of tiny tubes, many biologists assumed that nectar just flowed up the tubes thanks to a passive process called capillarity. K. N. Smith, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2015 The results obtained suggest that oil is migrating through pores and cracks in the solid structure driven by capillarity within seconds. Elsbeth Sites, Discover Magazine, 6 Oct. 2015 Plants transport nutrients from their roots up to the highest branches using capillarity, the inspiration for microfluidic circuits that are autonomously powered. Albert Folch, Discover Magazine, 19 May 2021 The trouble was that the amount of nectar consumption predicted by the capillarity model didn’t always match what biologists saw hummingbirds doing in the wild. K. N. Smith, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2015 But dispersion is caused by its capillarity — the surface tension effect that makes some liquids rise in straws. Quanta Magazine, 21 July 2015 In most fluids, capillarity is negligible compared to viscosity. Quanta Magazine, 21 July 2015

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'capillarity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of capillarity was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near capillarity

Cite this Entry

“Capillarity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capillarity. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

capillarity

noun
cap·​il·​lar·​i·​ty ˌkap-ə-ˈlar-ət-ē How to pronounce capillarity (audio)
: the action by which the surface of a liquid where (as in a slender tube) it is in contact with a solid is raised or lowered depending upon how much the molecules of the liquid are attracted to one another and to those of the solid

Medical Definition

capillarity

noun
cap·​il·​lar·​i·​ty ˌkap-ə-ˈlar-ət-ē How to pronounce capillarity (audio)
plural capillarities
: the action by which the surface of a liquid where it is in contact with a solid (as in a capillary tube) is elevated or depressed depending on the relative attraction of the molecules of the liquid for each other and for those of the solid

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