encapsulate

verb

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

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
encapsulation noun

Did you know?

We’ll keep it brief by encapsulating the history of this word in just a few sentences. Encapsulate and its related noun, capsule, come to us from capsula, a diminutive form of the Latin noun capsa, meaning “box.” (Capsa also gave us the “container” or “box” meaning of the noun case.) The earliest examples of encapsulate are for its literal use (“to enclose something in a capsule”) and date to the late 19th century. Its extended meaning, “to give a summary or synopsis of something,” plays on the notion of a capsule being something compact, self-contained, and often easily digestible.

Example Sentences

The contaminated material should be encapsulated and removed. can you encapsulate the president's speech in about a paragraph?
Recent Examples on the Web Senior captains Cooper McIntire, Pete Murphy, and Dan Deering encapsulate the heart and soul of the team. Jake Levin, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Dec. 2022 The dynamics of these negotiations encapsulate why UN climate talks can feel like a bureaucratic, impenetrable exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ocean liner. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 15 Nov. 2022 No single moment can truly encapsulate these last two chaotic, absurd, boring days of American politics. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 With a spread like that, no single piece could possibly encapsulate the whole exhibition. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022 The comedy of errors at the goal line might best encapsulate the dysfunctional operation that is New England’s offense, but the rest of the game featured plenty of mistakes, too. Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Dec. 2022 Agencies or companies completely covered waste at most mills to halt leaks of the carcinogenic gas radon and moved some waste by truck and train to impoundments specially designed to encapsulate it. Mark Olalde, ProPublica, 3 Dec. 2022 Completed in 1649, the palace’s two divisions, one red and one white, together comprise at least one thousand rooms that encapsulate the vibrant multiplicity of Tibetan history. Michael Snyder, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2022 Summer Creek's overall record doesn't fully encapsulate how dangerous the Bulldogs can be. Josh Criswell, Chron, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of encapsulate was in 1872

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Dictionary Entries Near encapsulate

Cite this Entry

“Encapsulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encapsulate. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

encapsulate

verb
en·​cap·​su·​late in-ˈkap-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce encapsulate (audio)
encapsulated; encapsulating
1
: to enclose in a capsule
2
: to tell or relate (as a report) in a few words
encapsulation noun

Medical Definition

encapsulate

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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become encapsulated
a bacillus that encapsulates in the human body
encapsulation noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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