Definition of capillarity in English:



mass noun
  • The tendency of a liquid in a capillary tube or absorbent material to rise or fall as a result of surface tension.

    Also called capillary action
    • ‘In applied mathematics he studied optics, electricity, telegraphy, capillarity, elasticity, thermodynamics, potential theory, quantum theory, theory of relativity and cosmology.’
    • ‘The patients had an elevated number of less efficient type II muscle fibers, whereas muscle fiber cross-sectional areas, capillarity, and mitochondrial volume density were not different between the groups.’
    • ‘Moisture levels in the foundation, and capillarity of the soil were measured, along with VOCs; the foundation was opened; and microbes from indoor air and materials were cultured.’
    • ‘Typically, the assessment of capillarity in patients with COPD has revealed rarefaction.’
    • ‘The surface tension was obtained as a fitting parameter when the experimental drop profile was fitted to the theoretical curve governed by the Laplace equation of capillarity.’


Mid 19th century: from French capillarité, from Latin capillaris ‘like a hair’ (see capillary).