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

But Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to the L.A. of his youth also perfectly encapsulates an incredibly polarizing time in American history, when the '50s and its mainstream values started to give way to a youth-lead counterculture. Erika Stalder, Glamour, "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood," 30 July 2019 Of course, that encapsulates its soundtrack as well, from its now-famous theme song (courtesy of the synth duo SURVIVE) to montages and diegetic music. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "'Stranger Things' Music Supervisor Nora Felder Talks 'Retroactive A&R' on Season 3," 26 July 2019 Pink Floyd encapsulated one of rock and roll’s—and one of humanity’s—most astounding eras. Jason Heller, The Atlantic, "The Apollo 11 Mission Inspired Pink Floyd’s Most Overlooked Song," 20 July 2019 This photo encapsulates so much information in one moment. Kristen Mcnicholas, National Geographic, "Your best photos of the week, July 19, 2019," 19 July 2019 The park's value vs. economic value Wednesday’s hearing encapsulated a decades-long clash of priorities and political ideologies over what intrinsic value the park has and whether the country can, or should, balance profit and preservation. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "Bill to ban new uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon passes House committee," 17 July 2019 His epic five-set tiebreaker loss to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final this month will sting, but the performance also encapsulates Federer's redefining of an age barrier in the sport. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Top 16 athletes over 35 of all-time: From Tom Brady to Serena Williams to Gordie Howe," 17 July 2019 This is a rustic, perfectly executed dish with thoughtful, unexpected details which, to me, perfectly encapsulates the kind of cooking going on in the Muse kitchen. Anchorage Daily News, "Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant and James Beard-nominated chef takes over Muse restaurant. So: how’s the food?," 17 July 2019 What Bell visitors can see from that collection is a 6-inch lunar sample disk that contains lunar rock and lunar soil encapsulated in clear Lucite. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "Bell Museum celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with public viewing of moon rocks," 16 July 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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Statistics for encapsulate

Last Updated

4 Aug 2019

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on encapsulate

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for encapsulate

Comments on encapsulate

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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