from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Capillary action.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or condition of being capillary; capillary attraction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or condition of being capillary.
  • noun (Physics) The peculiar action by which the surface of a liquid, where it is in contact with a solid (as in a capillary tube), is elevated or depressed; capillary attraction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The interaction between the surfaces of a solid and liquid in contact that distorts the normal geometry of the liquid surface; especially the rise or fall of a liquid in a fine tube.

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

  • noun a phenomenon associated with surface tension and resulting in the elevation or depression of liquids in capillaries


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The word capillarity is of Latin derivation, and signifies hair-like slenderness.

    A Treatise on Staff Making and Pivoting Containing Complete Directions for Making and Fitting New Staffs from the Raw Material

  • As already explained on page 10, a process called capillarity enables moisture to rise in the soil as plants need it.

    Agriculture for Beginners Revised Edition

  • Between them there lies a thin film of water, drawn in by the attraction known as capillarity, which sucks the fluid into a sponge or between plates of glass placed near together.

    Outlines of the Earth's History A Popular Study in Physiography

  • Even a completely dead tree with no needles left could draw some water up into itself by an even more passive process called capillarity, the tendency of water to “crawl” into tiny spaces.

    O Tannenbaum

  • With the above code, we can list the longest of the well-mixed transposals. antiparticles paternalistic conservatoire overreactions aristotelian retaliations obscurantist subtractions definability identifiably arthroscopes crapshooters colonialists oscillations enumerations mountaineers importunates permutations counterspies persecutions capillarity piratically animadverts maidservant calendering greenlandic grandnieces reascending coordinates decorations peripatetic precipitate crenelation intolerance arthroscope crapshooter peristaltic triplicates excitations intoxicates

    Wolfram Blog : Word Play with Mathematica

  • He applied these and other insights to an equally impressive range of empirical and theoretical research in observational astronomy, celestial mechanics, surveying, geodesy, capillarity, geomagnetism, electromagnetism, mechanism optics, and actuarial science.

    Gauss, Johann Carl Friedrich

  • Whewell brought the point home by identifying competing theories of capillarity, due to Poisson and Laplace, that were equally able to reproduce the phenomena but which were based on incompatible atomic force laws, as Gardner (1979, 20) has pointed out.

    Atomism from the 17th to the 20th Century

  • It is necessary rather to know the composition of the substances in question — the geological strata, the atmospheric actions, the quality of the soil, the minerals, the waters, the density of the different bodies, their capillarity, and what not.

    Madame Bovary

  • Water has the effect of introducing mechanical forces due to phenomena of capillarity.

    Chapter 5

  • MOLASSES: A product of the sugar industry, this improves compressive strength and reduces capillarity, A quatity of 5% is suitable for sandy and silty soils.

    Chapter 11


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  • "Eötvös' law of capillarity (weak equivalence principle) served as a basis for Einstein's theory of relativity. (Capillarity: the property or exertion of capillary attraction of repulsion, a force that is the resultant of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension in liquids which are in contact with solids, causing the liquid surface to rise – or be depressed...)."

    --from the Wikipedia entry for Loránd Eötvös

    April 19, 2011