The small blood vessels that link arterioles with venules. Lumen may be formed within a single endothelial cell, and have a diameter less than that of an erythrocyte, which must deform to pass through. Blood flow through capillaries can be regulated by precapillary sphincters, and each capillary probably only carries blood for part of the time.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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(like a hair), , , ,

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  • Capillary — Cap il*la*ry (k[a^]p [i^]l*l[asl]*r[y^] or k[.a]*p[i^]l l[.a]*r[y^]; 277), a. [L. capillaris, fr. capillus hair. Cf. {Capillaire}.] 1. Resembling a hair; fine; minute; very slender; having minute tubes or interspaces; having very small bore; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • capillary — 1650s (adj.), 1660s (n.), from L. capillaris of hair, from capillus hair (of the head); probably related to caput head. Borrowed earlier as capillar (14c.). Capillary attraction attested from 1813. Capillarity is recorded from 1830, from Fr.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • capillary — ► NOUN 1) Anatomy any of the fine branching blood vessels that form a network between the arterioles and venules. 2) (also capillary tube) a tube with an internal diameter of hair like thinness. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to capillaries or… …   English terms dictionary

  • capillary — [kap′ə ler΄ē; ] Brit [ kə pil′ə ri] adj. [L capillaris < capillus, hair] 1. of or like a hair, esp. in being very slender 2. having a very small bore 3. in or of capillaries n. pl. capillaries 1. a tube with a very small bo …   English World dictionary

  • Capillary — Cap il*la*ry, n.; pl. {Capillaries}. 1. A tube or vessel, extremely fine or minute. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) A minute, thin walled vessel; particularly one of the smallest blood vessels connecting arteries and veins, but used also for the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Capillary — Capillaries are the smallest of a body s blood vessels, measuring 5 10 μm in diameter, which connect arterioles and venules, and enable the interchange of water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many other nutrient and waste chemical substances… …   Wikipedia

  • Capillary — One of the tiny blood vessels that connect the arterioles (the smallest divisions of the arteries) and the venules (the smallest divisions of the veins). The capillaries form a fine network in many parts of the body. Although minute, the… …   Medical dictionary

  • capillary — I. adjective Etymology: French or Latin; French capillaire, from Latin capillaris, from capillus hair Date: 14th century 1. a. resembling a hair especially in slender elongated form < capillary leaves > b. having a very small bore < a capillary… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • capillary — /kap euh ler ee/, adj., n., pl. capillaries. adj. 1. pertaining to or occurring in or as if in a tube of fine bore. 2. resembling a strand of hair; hairlike. 3. Physics. a. pertaining to capillarity. b. of or pertaining to the apparent attraction …   Universalium

  • capillary — /kəˈpɪləri / (say kuh piluhree) noun (plural capillaries) 1. Anatomy one of the minute blood vessels between the terminations of the arteries and the beginnings of the veins. 2. Also, capillary tube. a tube with a small bore. –adjective 3.… …  

  • capillary — adj. & n. adj. 1 of or like a hair. 2 (of a tube) of hairlike internal diameter. 3 of one of the delicate ramified blood vessels intervening between arteries and veins. n. (pl. ies) 1 a capillary tube. 2 a capillary blood vessel. Phrases and… …   Useful english dictionary

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