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 Various studies have shown that capillary development appears to peak at between 60 and 75 percent of 5K pace. Jeff Gaudette, Outside Online, 11 Nov. 2019 After nearly two decades of research into the skin’s lymphatic capillary network, Clé de Peau Beauté relaunched their Synactif skincare collection. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 From there, the tide flows east in the grooves between cobblestones, carried first by capillary action, then forced from behind by the surge. Justin Beal, Curbed, 11 Sep. 2021 The strips are curled into cylinders and welded at the seam, then stretched and cut into fine capillary tubes, which machines glue to plastic hubs. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2021 White’s tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) secrete mucus from their toe pads to hold on to steep surfaces through capillary forces, similar to the way a wet piece of tissue sticks to a window. Becky Summers, Scientific American, 16 Jan. 2013 This sets up a capillary force that draws liquid (water, in this case) back up into the film. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 10 Nov. 2020 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, 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, 26 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sitting on an artery instead of a capillary, the infrared sensors capture the most accurate biometric data. Hunter Fenollol, Popular Mechanics, 7 Oct. 2021 This is because the infrared light penetrates deeper than the green light other devices use while reading vitals such as heart rate and temperature from your finger artery instead of a wrist capillary. Hunter Fenollol, Popular Mechanics, 7 Oct. 2021 But the red ink film floats up, thanks to a phenomenon called capillary-induced peeling, in which the water penetrates between the less-sticky ink and the rock. Tess Joosse, Science | AAAS, 24 Mar. 2021 Researchers demonstrated that vitamin D can reduce damage to capillaries that connect the alveoli to larger blood vessels that may prevent ARDS. USA Today, 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, 1 May 2020 Kidneys filter blood through thousands of tiny capillaries, which are highly susceptible to clots. NBC News, 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, 24 Apr. 2020 The air sacs are wrapped in tiny capillaries, which carry blood cells that are waiting for oxygen. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, 15 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries Near capillary

capillarized

capillary

capillary action

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Statistics for capillary

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capillary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capillary. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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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

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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