Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or resembling a hair; fine and slender.
  • adj. Having a very small internal diameter: a capillary tube.
  • adj. Anatomy Of or relating to the capillaries.
  • adj. Physics Of or relating to capillarity.
  • n. Anatomy One of the minute blood vessels that connect arterioles and venules. These blood vessels form an intricate network throughout the body for the interchange of various substances, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, between blood and tissue cells.
  • n. A tube with a very small internal diameter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or pertaining to hair
  • adj. pertaining to a narrow tube
  • n. A narrow tube
  • n. Any of the small blood vessels that connect arteries to veins

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Resembling a hair; fine; minute; very slender; having minute tubes or interspaces; having very small bore.
  • adj. Pertaining to capillary tubes or vessels.
  • n. A tube or vessel, extremely fine or minute.
  • n. A minute, thin-walled vessel; particularly one of the smallest blood vessels connecting arteries and veins, but used also for the smallest lymphatic and biliary vessels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or resembling hair: as, a capillary lotion; capillary fibers or threads.
  • Specifically, in botany, resembling hair in the manner of growth: applied in this sense by Ray, Boerhaave, and other early botanists to ferns.
  • Resembling a single hair; specifically, in anatomy, having (as a tube) so small a bore that water cannot be poured into it, and will not run through it.
  • Pertaining to a capillary or to capillaries: as, capillary circulation.
  • Pertaining to the phenomena of the rise of fluids in tubes and chinks, and, more generally, to the collecting of liquids in drops, their spreading over surfaces (as oil on water), and various other phenomena explicable proximately by surface-tension and ultimately by cohesion and adhesion, considered as forces acting at finite but insensible distances.
  • In surgery, linear: descriptive of a fracture of the skull without separation of the parts of the injured bones.
  • n. pl. capillaries (-riz).
  • n. A tube with a small bore. Specifically
  • n. In anatomy: One of the minute blood-vessels which form a network between the terminations of the arteries and the beginnings of the veins.
  • n. One of the minute lymphatic ducts.
  • n. One of the intercellular passages in the liver which unite to form the bile-ducts.
  • n. In botany, a fern: especially applied to such ferns as grow like tufts of hair on walls. Sir T. Browne. See I., 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tube of small internal diameter; holds liquid by capillary action
  • adj. long and slender with a very small internal diameter
  • n. any of the minute blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules
  • adj. of or relating to hair

Etymologies

From Latin capillāris, from capillus, hair.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin capillāris ("pertaining to the hair"), from capillus ("the hair, prop. of the head"), from caput ("head"). (Wiktionary)

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