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 encapsulation (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 That year’s Super Bowl halftime show perfectly encapsulates a culture striving for something like equity through massive dance numbers, pop music and a stage full of men in vests playing guitar. oregonlive, "25 Super Bowl halftime shows ranked from truly terrible to totally transcendent for 2020," 22 Jan. 2020 The way Lenny stops to wink at the camera at the end encapsulates the coquettish essence of the show. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "The Best Part Of The New Pope Are The New Opening Credits," 13 Jan. 2020 In a lot of ways, Eric Staal’s up-and-down season perfectly encapsulates the way things have gone for the Wild, too. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Eric Staal to represent Wild at 2020 NHL All-Star Game," 30 Dec. 2019 The film perfectly encapsulates that moment with Rudy’s father, whom his son begged to come watch a game at Notre Dame Stadium. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "13 reasons why ‘Rudy’ is the best college football movie of all time," 26 Dec. 2019 Miley’s slow, melancholy tune encapsulates the heavy feeling of the holiday blues, along with the disconnect between merry decorations and emotions of sadness, loneliness, and pain. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Releases New Holiday Track “My Sad Christmas Song”," 22 Dec. 2019 Helf’s writing, both in the form of tweets and as a budding essayist, perfectly encapsulates her ability to find both beauty and humor in some of the toughest parts of life. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "This Writer Has No Feet, Loves Shoes, and Is the Funniest Person on Twitter," 10 Dec. 2019 The entire episode encapsulates the Ohio State offensive line’s identity. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio Sate football’s interior offensive line thrives on competition, communication: Friday Focus," 6 Dec. 2019 Nestling amid forest and cereal fields in northern France, Saintines encapsulates many of the difficulties of rural decline—but also a distinctly French effort to fight it. The Economist, "A septuagenarian mayor is tackling decline in his corner of rural France," 21 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of encapsulate was in 1872

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Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encapsulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encapsulate. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for encapsulate


How to pronounce encapsulate (audio)

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 encapsulation (audio) \ noun

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