capsule

noun
cap·​sule | \ ˈkap-səl How to pronounce capsule (audio) , -(ˌ)sül also -ˌsyül\

Definition of capsule

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a membrane or sac enclosing a body part (such as a knee joint or kidney)
b : either of two layers of white matter in the cerebrum
2 : a closed receptacle containing spores or seeds: such as
a : a dry dehiscent usually many-seeded fruit composed of two or more carpels
b : the spore case of a moss
3 : a shell usually of gelatin for packaging something (such as a drug or vitamins) also : a usually medicinal or nutritional preparation for oral use consisting of the shell and its contents
4 : an often polysaccharide envelope surrounding a microorganism
5 : an extremely brief condensation : outline, survey capsules of history given to students
6a : a compact often sealed and detachable container or compartment
b : a small pressurized compartment or vehicle (as for space flight)

capsule

verb
capsuled; capsuling

Definition of capsule (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to equip with or enclose in a capsule
2 : to condense into or devise in a compact form capsuled the news

capsule

adjective

Definition of capsule (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : extremely brief a capsule biography
2 : small and very compact a capsule submarine

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of capsule in a Sentence

Noun

took an antibiotic capsule three times a day for a week a capsule containing all sorts of items from our era that is to be opened 100 years from now

Verb

newscasts that capsule complex, important stories into one-minute bits for easy digestion by viewers

Adjective

capsule reviews of the latest offerings at the multiplex
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The mission would send NASA’s upcoming Orion crew capsule around the moon to test the capabilities of the system. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "If SLS Won't Launch NASA's Moon Mission, What Will?," 14 Mar. 2019 However, the event was sponsored by Sephora, Viktor & Rolf Parfums, and Lancôme—the latter of which has partnered with influencers like Camila Coelho on limited edition lipstick capsule collections. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chiara Ferragni Might Be Launching a Beauty Line," 11 Feb. 2019 Much like a coffee machine that uses pods to brew your beverage, the LG HomeBrew uses single-use capsules that contain yeast, hops, and malt. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Brew Your Own Beer At Home So Easily With LG's New HomeBrew Device," 9 Jan. 2019 Riding inside a small capsule within the orbiter was a young Siberian Husky mutt named Laika— the first animal to orbit Earth. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Swiss luxury brand Bally just launched a limited edition capsule collection in collaboration with street artist Shok-1 and Grammy Award winner Swizz Beats. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bally Just Dropped a Street Style Capsule Collection with Shok-1 and Swizz Beats," 12 Oct. 2018 Savage X Fenty released a limited-edition capsule collection benefitting the Clara Lionel Foundation, the non-profit Rihanna founded in 2012 (and is named after her grandparents) that benefits education and emergency response programs globally. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Rihanna Designed a Savage X Fenty Lingerie Capsule to Benefit Her Foundation—And Everything's Under $100," 21 Sep. 2018 Blue Origin, meanwhile, will use a more traditional capsule and booster, both of which are designed to be reusable. Amy Thompson, WIRED, "The Race to Get Tourists to Suborbital Space Is Heating Up," 10 July 2018 Prinkshop is proud to partner with J Crew on this limited edition capsule collection that celebrates Moms, Women, and the empowerment of Girls around the world. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "J.Crew comes under fire for selling feminist T-shirt for young boys," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

A capsule summary on Tuesday for an article about the decades-long rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar omitted the context in describing the population of Qatar. New York Times, "Corrections: June 15, 2017," 14 June 2017 Capsule previews of Saturday's high school championships in baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Previewing Saturday's High School Championships," 9 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capsule.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of capsule

Noun

circa 1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capsule

Noun

French, from Latin capsula, diminutive of capsa box — more at case

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capsule

Statistics for capsule

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capsule

The first known use of capsule was circa 1693

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for capsule

capsule

noun

English Language Learners Definition of capsule

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very small container that is filled with medicine and swallowed whole
: a small glass or plastic container that has something (such as a liquid) inside of it
: a small part of a spacecraft that is separate from the rest of the spacecraft and that is where people live and work

capsule

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of capsule (Entry 2 of 2)

: very short

capsule

noun
cap·​sule | \ ˈkap-səl How to pronounce capsule (audio) \

Kids Definition of capsule

1 : a case enclosing the seeds or spores of a plant
2 : a small case of material that contains medicine to be swallowed
3 : a closed compartment for travel in space

capsule

noun
cap·​sule | \ ˈkap-səl, -(ˌ)sül How to pronounce capsule (audio) \

Medical Definition of capsule

1a : a membrane or saclike structure enclosing a part or organ the capsule of the kidney
b : either of two layers or laminae of white matter in the cerebrum:
(1) : a layer that consists largely of fibers passing to and from the cerebral cortex and that lies internal to the lentiform nucleus

called also internal capsule

(2) : one that lies between the lentiform nucleus and the claustrum

called also external capsule

2 : a shell usually of gelatin for packaging something (as a drug or vitamins) also : a usually medicinal or nutritional preparation for oral use consisting of the shell and its contents
3 : a viscous or gelatinous often polysaccharide envelope surrounding certain microscopic organisms (as the pneumococcus)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on capsule

What made you want to look up capsule? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!