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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman recapitulaciun et al., Middle French recapitulacion et al., or their source, from Late Latin recapitulatio (summing up, summary), from the participle stem of recapitulare (recapitulate), from re- + capitulum (chapter, section), diminutive of caput (head).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌɹiːkəˌpɪtjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n/
  • (US) enPR: re·kə·pĭ·chə·lāʹshən, IPA(key): /ɹiː.kəˌpɪ.t͡ʃəˈleɪ.ʃ(ə)n/


recapitulation (countable and uncountable, plural recapitulations)

  1. A subsequent brief recitement or enumeration of the major points in a narrative, article, or book.
    Synonym: summary
  2. (music) The third major section of a musical movement written in sonata form, representing thematic material that originally appeared in the exposition section.
  3. (biology) The reenactment of the embryonic development in evolution of the species.
  4. (theology) The symmetry provided by Christ's life to the teachings of the Old Testament; the summation of human experience in Jesus Christ.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin, published 2010, page 144:
      one would expect God's final purpose to be expressed in his created world, since the doctrine of recapitulation showed that this is where his plans had worked out before.

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