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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
cap•il•lar•y /ˈkæpəˌlɛri/USA pronunciation
n., pl. -ies, adj. n. [countable]
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
adj. [before a noun]
- Anatomyone of the tiny, hairlike blood vessels between the arteries and the veins.
- Physicsof or relating to the attraction or the pushing away between a liquid and a solid:Capillary action causes oil to rise in the wick of a lantern.
(kap′ə ler′ē),USA pronunciation adj., n., pl. -lar•ies. adj.
- pertaining to or occurring in or as if in a tube of fine bore.
- resembling a strand of hair;
- pertaining to capillarity.
- of or pertaining to the apparent attraction or repulsion between a liquid and a solid, observed in capillarity.
- Anatomypertaining to a capillary or capillaries.
- Anatomyone of the minute blood vessels between the terminations of the arteries and the beginnings of the veins.
- PhysicsAlso called cap′illary tube′. a tube with a small bore.
- Latin capillāris pertaining to hair, equivalent. to capill(us) hair + -āris -ar1) + -ary
- capill(ar) (obsolete, 1570–80
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
capillary /kəˈpɪlərɪ/ adj
n ( pl -laries)
- resembling a hair; slender
- (of tubes) having a fine bore
- of or relating to any of the delicate thin-walled blood vessels that form an interconnecting network between the arterioles and the venules
- of or relating to capillarity
Etymology: 17th Century: from Latin capillāris, from capillus hair
- any of the capillary blood vessels
- a fine hole or narrow passage in any substance