capillary

adjective
cap·​il·​lary | \ ˈka-pə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce capillary (audio) , -ˌle-rē, British usually kə-ˈpi-lə-rē \

Definition of capillary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : resembling a hair especially in slender elongated form capillary leaves
b : having a very small bore a capillary tube
2 : involving, held by, or resulting from surface tension capillary water in the soil
3 : of or relating to capillaries or capillarity

capillary

noun
plural capillaries

Definition of capillary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a minute thin-walled vessel of the body especially : any of the smallest blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules and forming networks throughout the body
2 : a tube (as of glass) having a very small bore

Examples of capillary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That might not matter for building sandcastles, but capillary condensation is also relevant to many microelectronic, pharmaceutical, and food processing industries. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Physicists solve 150-year-old mystery of equation governing sandcastle physics," 9 Dec. 2020 The thinking is that the protein may lead to capillary leaks, which can cause fluid to enter the lungs. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Once precious resources in coronavirus fight, ventilators no longer doctors' first choice," 26 Aug. 2020 The person’s sample is mixed with a small amount of liquid, which is applied to one end of the strip and then flows, via good old capillary action, toward the other end. Tien Nguyen, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Are Racing to Develop Paper-Based Tests for Covid-19," 25 Aug. 2020 Adding 2-butanol into the mix results in a Marangoni flow from thicker to thinner areas, creating a natural negative feedback mechanism to suppress the capillary flows that lead to the coffee ring effect and spread the droplet out like a pancake. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Adding a dash of alcohol suppresses coffee ring effect in 2D printing inks," 12 Aug. 2020 By capillary action, water can also collect into lenses and chunks in the soil. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 2020 Given the open capillary channels, the device surface can be easily cleaned and reused. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Is Building an Anti-Gravity, Water-Purifying Solar Panel," 15 July 2020 By capillary action, water can also collect into lenses and chunks in the soil. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 2020 By capillary action, water can also collect into lenses and chunks in the soil. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Researchers demonstrated that vitamin D can reduce damage to capillaries that connect the alveoli to larger blood vessels that may prevent ARDS. USA Today, "Can vitamin D help with symptoms of COVID-19? Possibly, it's key to helping your immune system function," 9 June 2020 This is a rare but severe form of the disease in which immune cells release chemicals called inflammatory cytokines that end up damaging the circulatory system, leading to blood plasma leaking out of capillaries. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "The Ars COVID-19 vaccine primer: 100-plus in the works, 8 in clinical trials," 1 May 2020 Kidneys filter blood through thousands of tiny capillaries, which are highly susceptible to clots. NBC News, "Coronavirus can lead to kidney damage. Why?," 18 Apr. 2020 There’s also some pink dye to add life-like color, and the embalmer might gently massage the hands and feet to help coerce the fluid into capillaries in the fingers and toes. Victor Llorente, Popular Mechanics, "Inside a New York City Funeral Home’s Mission to Keep Bodies Out of Mass Graves," 24 Apr. 2020 The air sacs are wrapped in tiny capillaries, which carry blood cells that are waiting for oxygen. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "Ventilators Aren’t Going to Cure COVID-19. Here’s What They Can Do.," 15 Apr. 2020 When inflammation, emphysema or a disease like cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs, the large blood vessels and tiny capillaries that deliver oxygen constrict. Los Angeles Times, "How a discovery that brought us Viagra could help those battling the coronavirus," 5 Apr. 2020 Normally, oxygen crosses the alveoli into the capillaries, tiny blood vessels that lie beside the air sacs; the oxygen is then carried to the rest of the body. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes," 17 Apr. 2020 Those capillaries allow in more of the light when full of blood, and less between beats, and the device measures how much light is absorbed. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "Detective Fitbit," 3 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capillary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capillary

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capillary

Adjective

French or Latin; French capillaire, from Latin capillaris, from capillus hair

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Time Traveler for capillary

Time Traveler

The first known use of capillary was in the 14th century

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Statistics for capillary

Last Updated

23 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Capillary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capillary. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for capillary

capillary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of capillary

: one of the many very small tubes that carry blood within the body : the smallest kind of blood vessel

capillary

adjective
cap·​il·​lary | \ ˈka-pə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce capillary (audio) \

Kids Definition of capillary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having a long slender form and a small inner diameter a capillary tube
2 : of or relating to capillary action or a capillary

capillary

noun
plural capillaries

Kids Definition of capillary (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of the slender hairlike tubes that are the smallest blood vessels and connect arteries with veins

capillary

adjective
cap·​il·​lary | \ ˈkap-ə-ˌler-ē, British usually kə-ˈpil-ə-rē \

Medical Definition of capillary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : resembling a hair especially in slender elongated form
b : having a very small bore a capillary tube
2 : involving, held by, or resulting from surface tension
3 : of or relating to capillaries or capillarity

capillary

noun
plural capillaries

Medical Definition of capillary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a minute thin-walled vessel of the body especially : any of the smallest blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules and forming networks throughout the body
2 : a capillary tube

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More from Merriam-Webster on capillary

Nglish: Translation of capillary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capillary for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about capillary

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