Weekly Word: Recapitulate

Recapitulate - v. to review by a brief summary, as at the end of a speech or discussion; summarize.

“Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” said Ernst Haeckel, who came up with the Recapitulation Theory. Biology aside, it looks like that theory created a new, more specific definition of the word recapitulate: “Biology. (of an organism) to repeat (ancestral evolutionary stages) in its development.”

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, recapitulate can be traced back to Latin recapitulare, from re- “again” and capitulum “main part”.