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 The problems with all four programs encapsulate Boeing’s recent struggles and go to the heart of its core business: flying. Washington Post, "As it moves aggressively to restore confidence, Boeing flies into an uncertain future," 7 July 2020 The fireworks encapsulate the cramped, complex reality of urban leisure amid both a pandemic and a reckoning over policing. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Inequality of Summer Leisure," 27 June 2020 Jivan does encapsulate in some ways the ambitions of India's youth. David Canfield, EW.com, "Megha Majumdar is figuring out how to talk about her (brilliant, bold) book right now," 2 June 2020 The result is encapsulated in a parameter called sigma-eight. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "How Heavy is the Universe? Conflicting Answers Hint at New Physics," 12 May 2020 That was best encapsulated in a Game 4-winning three-pointer off a push-off on Jordan. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Michael Jordan's villains: Ranking MJ's fiercest NBA rivals of the 1990s," 12 May 2020 The message of that movement is encapsulated by the headline of a press release sent out today, which declared: ‘Surrendered and Innocent Man Set to Die.’ That headline contains two falsehoods and one truth. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Father, sister, say Woods innocent on eve of Alabama execution," 4 Mar. 2020 These artists were being true to a strand of the Enlightenment which can be neatly encapsulated in a single name: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Washington Post, "You’ve probably never heard of these artists, but they painted reality in a way we’ve lost sight of," 25 Feb. 2020 Upon arrival visitors are encapsulated by the view that opens up to an all encompassing perspective of the valley; spanning from the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge on one end to Mount Saint Helena on another. Nicole Fritton, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Pritchard Hill is Napa Valley’s Most Exclusive Zip Code," 15 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

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encapsulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encapsulate. Accessed 8 Aug. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on encapsulate

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with encapsulate

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