[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. recant,
  2. recantation,
  3. recap,
  4. recapitalization,
  5. recapitalize,
  6. recapitulation,
  7. recapitulation theory,
  8. recaption,
  9. recapture,
  10. recarburize

Origin of recapitulate

1560–70; < Late Latin recapitulātus (past participle of recapitulāre), equivalent to re- re- + capitulātus; see capitulate

Can be confusedcapitulate 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 Formsrecapitulative 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

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