re·​ca·​pit·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌrē-kə-ˌpi-chə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce recapitulation (audio) \

Definition of recapitulation

1 : a concise summary
2 : the hypothetical occurrence in an individual organism's development of successive stages resembling the series of ancestral types from which it has descended so that the ontogeny of the individual retraces the phylogeny of its group
3 : the third section of a sonata form

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Examples of recapitulation in a Sentence

will begin his presentation with a recapitulation of the research done on the disease up to this point
Recent Examples on the Web As directed by Matthew MacDermid, plot recapitulation, tawdry secrets and shocking revelations all were delivered at the same pace and with the same emotional heft. Matthew J. Palm,, "Ensemble Company’s ‘Liaisons Dangereuses’ needs more danger | Review," 7 Nov. 2020 Look at how much of their review is spent in mindless recapitulation. Wired Staff, Wired, "13 Books You Need to Read This Fall," 29 Sep. 2020 At one point, we’re given a vivid recapitulation of recent terror attacks in London that only distracts from the tortured courtship at the play’s core. New York Times, "Word + Quiz: spurious," 19 Mar. 2020 The opening of Act 2, which is the recapitulation of the pilot — the scene on the lifeboat — was originally going to be the opening of the episode. Chancellor Agard,, "Arrow boss talks series finale, the episode he'd redo, and biggest writers' room debates," 29 Jan. 2020 The richly digressive plot defies easy recapitulation, but a dream cast evokes our fascination and compassion, never reducing the characters to obvious villainy, or conversely, tin-plaster saintliness. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, "Theater in L.A. this week: Mike Birbiglia, ‘Department of Dreams’ and more," 16 Oct. 2019 From here on, a kind of recapitulation begins, with the slow chords and the circling music augmented by new elements, such as a quivering pattern in the violas and a thick, brooding chord in the brass. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Otherworldly Minimalism of Jürg Frey," 29 Oct. 2019 This short, exciting opener sets themes from the eponymous operetta in a classical sonata form with an exposition, development, and recapitulation. Jessica Rudman,, "Review: Guest pianist Kevin Cole dazzles on a night of memorable melodies," 13 Oct. 2019 As the playwright intended, an all female, non-binary cast performs the all-male roles — a device that ineffably but undeniably deepens our connection to what might otherwise have been a standard recapitulation of historical events. Los Angeles Times, "SoCal theater, July 28-Aug. 4: ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Pericles’ and more," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recapitulation.' 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 recapitulation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of recapitulation was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Recapitulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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re·​ca·​pit·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌrē-kə-ˌpich-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce recapitulation (audio) \

Medical Definition of recapitulation

: the supposed repetition in the development of the individual of its phylogenetic history — see recapitulation theory

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