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 The phrase neatly encapsulated the unequivocal nature of the conditions Republicans were demanding in exchange for allowing the government to avoid a debt default. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2023 The ruling last summer encapsulated a 50-year push by Republicans to overturn Roe and was viewed initially by many Republican politicians and activists as a seismic policy and cultural win. Josh Dawsey, Colby Itkowitz, Caroline Kitchener And Maeve Reston, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2023 For 55 years, the historic photo of the men pointing at the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s assailant on the roof near the Lorraine Motel has encapsulated one of the darkest moments of the civil-rights movement. Mark Braboy, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Apr. 2023 For your own screen-turned-Monet moment, opt for something that encapsulates the spirit of your local scenery or personal life. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 16 Feb. 2023 Critically lauded, the record marked an ambitious attempt from the multifaceted MC to encapsulate himself in full on one record. Amos Barshad, WIRED, 6 Dec. 2022 Looking at the biggest picture, the singer zoomed out to encapsulate her appreciation not only for the women standing in her corner, but all of the women standing with their own friends and family — and even the ones who don’t have anyone to back them but do have the bravery to back themselves. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 8 May 2023 There are countless famous quotes that encapsulate Star Wars philosophy. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2023 The land is significant in Jewish and Biblical history, with part of Jerusalem – the capital of the Kingdom of Israel during King David’s reign – encapsulated in the area. Ella Lee And Jotam Confino, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'encapsulate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 4 Jun. 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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