Definition of recapitulation in US English:



  • 1An act or instance of summarizing and restating the main points of something.

    ‘his recapitulation of the argument’
    • ‘Here's a year-by-year recapitulation of the last nine contests.’
    • ‘Frank Brennan draws his lecture to a close with a recapitulation of his main points.’
    • ‘This essay, like much of the book, is derivative, little more than a recapitulation of facts better explored by literary scholars.’
    • ‘This report is a concise recapitulation of events throughout the entire day.’
    • ‘The candidate concluded his recitation with an abbreviated recapitulation of the subdivisions of the five principal topics.’
    • ‘The following, then, is less a straight recapitulation of plot and character than it is an introduction to the basic discourses at work in one of Rivette's most important films.’
    • ‘This book will be most useful as a bibliographic resource for those approaching the topic for the first time, and as a thorough recapitulation of the key positions on central research interests on the question of physical attractiveness.’
    • ‘Even casual readers may benefit from the sectional summaries or recapitulations in the book.’
    • ‘In the Appendices we include a brief recapitulation of the methods used for these measurements.’
    • ‘Some of the material will be familiar to readers who have kept up with this debate, but this volume is by no means a recapitulation of debates now worn threadbare by constant worrying.’
    • ‘As the theologian Robert Farrar Capon so astutely recognized, the entire argument of Ephesians in the first chapter is what is called a recapitulation.’
    • ‘The editorial begins with a recapitulation of the basic argument marshaled by the Bush administration regarding his past actions while on the board of directors of Harken Energy.’
    • ‘The work in which he summarizes his perspective, is a recapitulation of various articles published earlier, but here we see much more cohesion.’
    • ‘To make matters worse, he never provided indexes to his books, and gives no summaries, recapitulations of points, nor linguistic ‘signposts’ to aid the unwitting reader.’
    • ‘The events, though recent, do need a brief recapitulation.’
    • ‘Thelen's concluding chapter is not merely a recapitulation of her findings but rather provides important new insights on her topics, especially the broader issues of institutional evolution.’
    • ‘I didn't fully understand the reason and don't remember enough of it to give a coherent recapitulation… but it had something to do with a New York state law back then that gave certain tax advantages to small businesses.’
    • ‘Chapter 5 presents my theory, which avoids the recapitulation of Western gender roles and heterosexism inherent in many theories of attraction like Bem's.’
    • ‘For those who have forgotten, here is a recapitulation of the crime.’
    • ‘All novels after the first in a series have to tread a line between standing alone and catering for the faithful reader who will be irritated by constant recapitulations.’
    synopsis, precis, résumé, abstract, abridgement, digest, compendium, condensation, encapsulation, abbreviated version
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    1. 1.1Biology The repetition of an evolutionary or other process during development or growth.
      • ‘Discuss in detail a good example of recapitulation, showing how the stages of ontogeny parallel those of phylogeny.’
      • ‘In 1904, he published a book on adolescence, advocating a new theory of child development based on evolutionary recapitulation.’
      • ‘Yet, like Darwin and many science textbooks and evolutionist books for laymen, the editor of this journal endorses embryonic recapitulation.’
      • ‘And shame on you for including the outdated and proven fraudulent idea of embryonic recapitulation (that has been discarded by scientists) to reinforce evolutionary ideas in the public eye.’
      reiteration, repeating, restatement, retelling, iteration
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    2. 1.2Music A part of a movement (especially one in sonata form) in which themes from the exposition are restated.
      • ‘Again, Mendelssohn saw the concerto form as a field for experiment and his idea of continuing the soloist's cadenza figuration in the first movement over the recapitulation in the orchestra was later hailed by Ravel as a masterstroke.’
      • ‘In Sonata 10 in D Major, one of the six sonatas with full recapitulations, the lyrical second theme in the dominant minor provides a marked contrast to the assertive principal one.’
      • ‘A very similar effect occurs at the start of the recapitulation.’
      • ‘In the first movement, after the first statement in the exposition, there is a passage of five block chords that crops up again a few minutes later in the recapitulation with a shift in the harmonization at the end.’
      • ‘After the second climax, the music slows with a recapitulation of the opening theme and then fades to nothing.’