oxford views updated May 14 2018
cap·il·lar·y / ˈkapəˌlerē/ •
n. 1. Anat. any of the fine branching blood vessels that form a network between the arterioles and venules.2. (also capillary tube) a tube that has an internal diameter of hairlike thinness.•
adj. of or relating to capillaries or capillarity.
oxford views updated Jun 27 2018
capillary (blood capillary)
The narrowest type of blood vessel in the vertebrate circulatory system
. Capillaries conduct blood from arterioles
to all living cells: their walls are only one cell layer thick, so that oxygen and nutrients can pass through them into the surrounding tissues. Capillaries also transport waste material (e.g. urea and carbon dioxide
) to venules for ultimate excretion. Capillaries can be constricted or dilated, according to local tissue requirements. See microcirculation
oxford views updated May 23 2018
Smallest of blood vessels
, connecting arteries and veins. They are about 0.1mm (0.004in) in diameter. Capillary walls consist of only a single layer of cells, so that water containing dissolved oxygen and other nutrients (as well as carbon dioxide
and other wastes) can pass easily between the blood and surrounding tissues.
oxford views updated May 21 2018
capillary (kă-pil-er-i) n.
an extremely narrow blood vessel. Capillaries form networks in most tissues; they are supplied with blood by arterioles and drained by venules. The vessel wall is only one cell thick, which enables exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide
, water, salts, etc., between the blood and the tissues.
oxford views updated Jun 11 2018
of hair, hair-like. XVII. — L. capillāris
, f. capillus
hair; after F. capillaire
; see -ARY
oxford views updated May 29 2018
In the blood-circulation system of vertebrates, the narrowest blood vessel, with walls, only one cell thick, through which molecules can pass to transfer oxygen and nutrients to cells and to remove waste products.
oxford views updated May 18 2018
In the blood-circulation system of vertebrates, the narrowest blood vessel, with walls only one cell thick, through which molecules can pass to transfer oxygen and nutrients to cells and to remove waste products.