[ ree-kuh-pich-uh-leyt ]
/ ˌri kəˈpɪtʃ əˌleɪt /

verb (used with object), re·ca·pit·u·lated, re·ca·pit·u·lat·ing.

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), re·ca·pit·u·lated, re·ca·pit·u·lat·ing.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recapitulate

British Dictionary definitions for recapitulate


/ (ˌriːkəˈpɪtjʊˌleɪt) /


to restate the main points of (an argument, speech, etc); summarize
(tr) (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 or recapitulatory, adjective

Word Origin for recapitulate

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