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

That device deepens our connection to what otherwise might have been a standard recapitulation of historical events. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Men on Boats’ puts women at the helm of this thrill ride," 16 July 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. Matt Cooper,, "SoCal theater, July 14-21: Musical parodies of ‘Friends’ and ‘Lost’ and more," 12 July 2019 Because such change is universal in the natural world, and because photography is now 180 years old, recapitulation of historical photographs has gained traction in many fields. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Repeat Photography Reveals How Glaciers Change Over Time," 17 June 2019 Integral to the anatomy of some ballets and operas is the coda: a last gathering and recapitulation of themes, a pulling of the viewer back into her chair to hear an echo of the story’s conclusion. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Big Little Lies” Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl," 9 June 2019 Not a slavish recapitulation of classical tropes, but a recasting of them into a work that’s somehow weighty and lithe, inexorable and unexpected, eternal and American, all at once. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "All My Sons joins the pantheon of Court Theatre’s great tragedies," 24 Jan. 2018 But all of that is recollection and recapitulation. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Molly’s Game’ Review: Drawing Dead With All-In Dialogue," 21 Dec. 2017 Kelly’s claims to Ingraham last night are an almost verbatim recapitulation of Foote’s account: But the failure belongs less to Foote than to Burns. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Sarah Sanders Claims John Kelly Learned Civil War Nonsense From Ken Burns. She’s Probably Right.," 31 Oct. 2017 At first glance, the portion of Devarim is a random recapitulation of events the Jews experienced in the desert. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Weiss: The nature and structure of the book of Devarim," 24 July 2017

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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Statistics for recapitulation

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for recapitulation

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

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More Definitions for recapitulation


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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More from Merriam-Webster on recapitulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recapitulation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recapitulation Encyclopedia article about recapitulation

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characterized by aphorism

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