en·cap·su·late | \in-ˈkap-sə-ˌlāt, 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, 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

Here's Steve Wulf's account of Steinbrenner's fourth hiring of Martin, which seems to encapsulate the owner's legendary impatience and fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants nature. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "Nine Innings: How Bryce Harper Is Trying to Revive His Season, What We Learned in the First Half and More," 9 July 2018 Now, Harley seems to encapsulate a lot of what’s going wrong. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Harley-Davidson says it is moving some production out of U.S. to avoid EU tariffs," 25 June 2018 There's a power to the show that's hard to encapsulate in words, and this evocative final run cemented The Leftovers as one of the Peak TV greats. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 20 Best TV Shows Of 2017," 29 Dec. 2017 And then Salah danced past Sergio Ramos, a player whose grace and guile encapsulate his team. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Real Madrid Beats Liverpool in Champions League Final on a Wonder and Two Blunders," 27 May 2018 The example of coal stocks outperforming the world market in the past 12 months encapsulates this notion. WSJ, "Value Investing Is a Long-Term Commitment," 8 July 2018 The debate over requiring poor people to work to keep their health insurance encapsulates fundamentally different visions of the role of Medicaid, a program jointly funded by federal and state governments that now covers one in five Americans. Abby Goodnough, New York Times, "Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Medicaid Work Rules," 29 June 2018 Taken as a whole the album beautifully encapsulates Frisell’s depth and range in all its meditative glory. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Shape-shifting guitarist Bill Frisell beautifully sums up his meditative range on Music Is," 31 May 2018 As a child of the ’80s, Large finds that the entire program encapsulates a satisfying sense, or perhaps shock, of nostalgia. Lawrence Elizabeth Knox, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Symphony presents a nostalgic journey of one-hit wonders," 25 May 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for encapsulate

The first known use of encapsulate was in 1872

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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 \
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 \ noun

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