capillary action


Definition of capillary action

: capillarity sense 2 The liquid returns to the evaporation section of the heat pipe along a wick by means of capillary action.Science News, 22 July 1989

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of capillary action

1809, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capillary action

Time Traveler for capillary action

Time Traveler

The first known use of capillary action was in 1809

See more words from the same year

Statistics for capillary action

Cite this Entry

“Capillary action.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for capillary action

capillary action


Kids Definition of capillary action

: the action by which the surface of a liquid where it is in contact with a solid (as in a capillary tube) is raised or lowered

Comments on capillary action

What made you want to look up capillary action? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!