cap·sule (kăpsəl, -sl)
1. A small soluble container, usually made of gelatin, that encloses a dose of an oral medicine or a vitamin.
2. Anatomy A fibrous, membranous, or fatty sheath that encloses an organ or part, such as the sac surrounding the kidney or the fibrous tissues that surround a joint.
3. Microbiology A polysaccharide outer shell enveloping certain bacteria.
a. A dry dehiscent fruit that develops from two or more united carpels.
b. The thin-walled, spore-containing structure of mosses and related plants.
5. A space capsule.
6. A brief summary; a condensation.
1. Highly condensed; very brief: a capsule description.
2. Very small; compact.
tr.v. cap·suled, cap·sul·ing, cap·sules
1. To enclose in or furnish with a capsule.
2. To condense or summarize: capsuled the news.
[French, from Latin capsula, diminutive of capsa, box.]
capsu·lar (-sə-lər, -sy-) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus