capillary

You are probably most familiar with the word capillary as a minute vessel that transports blood to larger vessels in the body, but a capillary can actually mean any tiny tubelike device that moves a liquid from point to point.

Capillary comes from the Latin word capillaris, meaning "of or resembling hair." The meaning stems from the tiny, hairlike diameter of a capillary. While capillary is usually used as a noun, the word also is used as an adjective, as in "capillary action," in which a liquid is moved along — even upward, against gravity — as the liquid is attracted to the internal surface of the capillaries.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: capillary

1
nadj
any of the minute blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules
long and slender with a very small internal diameter
2
adj
of or relating to hair
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: capillary
1

n any of the minute blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules

Synonyms:
capillary vessel
Types:
glomerulus
a small intertwined group of capillaries in the malpighian body; it filters the blood during urine formation
tomentum, tomentum cerebri
a network of tiny blood vessels between the cerebral surface of the pia mater and the cerebral cortex
Type of:
blood vessel
a vessel in which blood circulates

n a tube of small internal diameter; holds liquid by capillary action

Synonyms:
capillary tube, capillary tubing
Type of:
tube, tubing
conduit consisting of a long hollow object (usually cylindrical) used to hold and conduct objects or liquids or gases

adj long and slender with a very small internal diameter

“a capillary tube”
Synonyms:
hairlike
thin
of relatively small extent from one surface to the opposite or in cross section
2

adj of or relating to hair

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