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[ree-kuh-pich-uh-ley-shuh n] /ˌri kəˌpɪtʃ əˈleɪ ʃən/
the act of recapitulating or the state of being recapitulated.
a brief review or summary, as of a speech.
Biology. the theory that the stages an organism passes through during its embryonic development repeat the evolutionary stages of structural change in its ancestral lineage.
Music. the modified restatement of the exposition following the development section in a sonata-form movement.
Origin of recapitulation
1350-1400; Middle English recapitulacioun < Late Latin recapitulātiōn- (stem of recapitulātiō), equivalent to recapitulāt(us) (see recapitulate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
recapitulative, recapitulatory
[ree-kuh-pich-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌri kəˈpɪtʃ ə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recapitulation
Historical Examples
  • The revelation of another life is a recapitulation of the argument in a figure.

    Gorgias Plato
  • It was interesting, but I should have preferred to edit the recapitulation.

  • Haeckel was not the original discoverer of the law of recapitulation.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • But wherefore this recapitulation of everything I know so well already?

    Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf George W. M. Reynolds
  • This succinct exposé may be useful as a recapitulation of the argument.

    The Mind and the Brain

    Alfred Binet
  • recapitulation of the circumstances which gave birth to, 341.

  • Her voice broke into a wail with the recapitulation of her woes.

    Into the Highways and Hedges F. F. Montrsor (Frances Frederica)
  • And in the recapitulation in the end, it is said by way of recital of the contents, ver.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
  • This recapitulation theory, like all others, has since been carried to an extreme.

    Six Major Prophets Edwin Emery Slosson
  • Spare me, Marion, the recapitulation of all that passed: it is too humbling, too dreadful.

    Modern Flirtations Catherine Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for recapitulation


the act of recapitulating, esp summing up, as at the end of a speech
(biology) Also called palingenesis. the apparent repetition in the embryonic development of an animal of the changes that occurred during its evolutionary history Compare caenogenesis
(music) the repeating of earlier themes, esp when forming the final section of a movement in sonata form
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 recapitulation

late 14c., "a summarizing," from Old French recapitulacion (13c.), from Late Latin recapitulationem (nominative recapitulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of recapitulare "go over the main points of a thing again," literally "restate by heads or chapters," from re- "again" (see re-) + capitulum "main part" (see chapter).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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