capillary attractioncapillary attraction
a force that is the resultant of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension in liquids which are in contact with solids, as in a capillary tube: when the cohesive force is greater, the surface of the liquid tends to rise in the tube, as with mercury; when the adhesive force is greater, the surface tends to be depressed, as with water
also capillary action
The force that results from greater adhesion of a liquid to a solid surface than internal cohesion of the liquid itself and that causes the liquid to be raised against a vertical surface, as water is in a clean glass tube. It is the force that allows a porous material to soak up a liquid.