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[ree-kuh-pich-uh-leyt] /ˌri kəˈpɪtʃ əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), recapitulated, recapitulating.
to review by a brief summary, as at the end of a speech or discussion; summarize.
Biology. (of an organism) to repeat (ancestral evolutionary stages) in its development.
Music. to restate (the exposition) in a sonata-form movement.
verb (used without object), recapitulated, recapitulating.
to sum up statements or matters.
Origin of recapitulate
1560-70; < Late Latin recapitulātus (past participle of recapitulāre), equivalent to re- re- + capitulātus; see capitulate
Can be confused
capitulate, recapitulate.
1. See repeat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recapitulate
Historical Examples
  • He shook his head and mournfully began to recapitulate the day he had just spent.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • Like Socrates, we may recapitulate the virtues of the philosopher.

    The Republic Plato
  • And here let me recapitulate—for there is no harm in repetition.

    Phaedo Plato
  • So that there may be no misunderstandings, I will recapitulate.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • He was impelled to recapitulate his injunctions; but he forbore.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • He had left out the feminine element; obviously he must recapitulate.

    Wayside Courtships Hamlin Garland
  • Let us recapitulate the strange metamorphoses which I have sketched.

  • Let us now recapitulate the more prominent facts of this essay.

  • Is it necessary to recapitulate all this, Monsieur Chauvelin?

    The Elusive Pimpernel Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • "Let us recapitulate," said the captain, his glance beaming with earnestness.

    The Man in the Iron Mask Alexandre Dumas, Pere
British Dictionary definitions for recapitulate


to restate the main points of (an argument, speech, etc); summarize
(transitive) (of an animal) to repeat (stages of its evolutionary development) during the embryonic stages of its life
to repeat at some point during a piece of music (material used earlier in the same work)
Derived Forms
recapitulative, recapitulatory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin recapitulāre, literally: to put back under headings; see capitulate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for recapitulate

1560s, back-formation from recapitulation and also from Late Latin recapitulatus, past participle of recapitulare. Related: Recapitulated; recapitulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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