en·​cap·​su·​late | \ in-ˈkap-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce encapsulate (audio) , en- \
encapsulated; encapsulating

Definition of encapsulate

transitive verb

1 : to enclose in or as if in a capsule a pilot encapsulated in the cockpit
2 : epitomize, summarize encapsulate an era in an aphorism

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Other Words from encapsulate

encapsulation \ in-​ˌkap-​sə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce encapsulate (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

Encapsulate and its related noun, "capsule," derive from "capsula," a diminutive form of the Latin noun capsa, meaning "box." "Capsa" also gave us our noun "case" (the container kind; the legal sense has a different origin). The original sense of encapsulate, meaning "to enclose something in a capsule," first appeared in the late 19th century. Its extended meaning, "to give a summary or synopsis of something," plays on the notion of a capsule as something compact, self-contained, and often easily digestible (as in a capsule of medicine). There is also a verb "capsule," which is more or less synonymous with "encapsulate."

Examples of encapsulate in a Sentence

The contaminated material should be encapsulated and removed. can you encapsulate the president's speech in about a paragraph?
Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps no statement can better encapsulate Kim’s star power than that. Matt Harkins, Vulture, "A Complete Timeline of the Decades-long Sex and the City Feud," 11 Jan. 2021 No single image can encapsulate the disruption of a year in which a highly contagious respiratory illness galloped across the planet, shut borders, shrank economies, and upended daily life. Peter Van Agtmael, Magazine, "How photography helps us make sense of this unforgettable year," 8 Dec. 2020 Because the virus that took Napoleon's life continues to hamper people's ability to gather, leaders from across the state sent video tributes played at the church Wednesday, sharing anecdotes that encapsulate who Napoleon was. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Loved ones say final goodbye to Sheriff Benny Napoleon," 30 Dec. 2020 All of those qualities encapsulate the city -- just like Bickerstaff learned in Memphis. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "J.B. Bickerstaff, in first full season as Cavaliers head coach, trying to create own version of Grit and Grind," 8 Dec. 2020 Johnson, with more than 60 years of wine sipping-writing-researching under his belt, is the perfect person to encapsulate the romance and history of wines. Marc Bona, cleveland, "45 cooking, beer, wine, recipe books – 2020 holiday gift guide," 7 Dec. 2020 In parallel, scientists had been developing ways to encapsulate and transport large and unwieldy molecules beginning in the 1960s. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "A gamble pays off in ‘spectacular success’: How the leading coronavirus vaccines made it to the finish line," 6 Dec. 2020 No message was better calculated to encapsulate the let’s-eat-our-young-to-save-ourselves spirit of the early, sweeping, misguided lockdowns. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "A Vaccine Is Already Helping," 17 Nov. 2020 But the people who encapsulate both of those groups present a different picture. Kate Sosin, USA TODAY, "These gay voters are backing Trump. Here’s why.," 2 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of encapsulate

1872, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for encapsulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of encapsulate was in 1872

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encapsulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encapsulate. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for encapsulate



English Language Learners Definition of encapsulate

: to show or express the main idea or quality of (something) in a brief way
: to completely cover (something) especially so that it will not touch anything else


en·​cap·​su·​late | \ in-ˈkap-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce encapsulate (audio) \
encapsulated; encapsulating

Medical Definition of encapsulate

transitive verb

: to surround, encase, or protect in or as if in a capsule DNA has been encapsulated in microspheres— Paul Smaglik

intransitive verb

: to become encapsulated a bacillus that encapsulates in the human body

Other Words from encapsulate

encapsulation \ -​ˌkap-​sə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce encapsulate (audio) \ noun

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