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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recapitulation
  • When lukewarm or downright miffed, he restricts himself to a bare-bones recapitulation of the plot up to that point.
  • Scholars of the thirties might avoid a recapitulation of the mistakes during that period.
  • However, the result is essentially a cabaret recapitulation on stage.
  • He makes a recapitulation of the heresies he had confuted, and says that their novelty alone suffices to confound them.
  • His recapitulation of presidential candidate debates often drove the national coverage.
  • Indeed, biology reveals a remarkable level of recapitulation throughout its putative history.
  • It's a recapitulation of the myths and legends that give rise to all those stories of excellence throughout our history.
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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