A capsule is a very small container that closes tightly. Many medicines come in capsules that can be easily swallowed.

Certain brands of laundry or dishwasher soap can be bought in capsule form, and you might hide a secret note or special mementos in a time capsule. A biologist probably thinks of a capsule as an anatomical structure that encloses an organ. This, in fact, is the word's earliest meaning — in French, it's a "membranous sac," from the Latin capsula, "small box or chest."

Primary Meanings of capsule

a small container
enclose in a capsule
a shortened version of a written work
put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume
Full Definitions of capsule

n a small container

a capsule filled with water-soluble dye used as a projectile in playing the game of paintball
Type of:
any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)

n a structure that encloses a body part

malpighian body, malpighian corpuscle, renal corpuscle
the capsule that contains Bowman's capsule and a glomerulus at the expanded end of a nephron
eyeball, orb
the ball-shaped capsule containing the vertebrate eye
lens capsule
a tenuous mesoblastic membrane surrounding the lens of the eye
Type of:
anatomical structure, bodily structure, body structure, complex body part, structure
a particular complex anatomical part of a living thing

n a dry dehiscent seed vessel or the spore-containing structure of e.g. mosses

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bilocular capsule
a capsule divided into two cells or compartments
the rounded seed-bearing capsule of a cotton or flax plant
siliqua, silique
narrow elongated seed capsule peculiar to the family Cruciferae
short broad silique occurring in some cruciferous plants
Type of:
pericarp, seed vessel
the ripened and variously modified walls of a plant ovary

n a pill in the form of a small rounded gelatinous container with medicine inside

Type of:
lozenge, pill, tab, tablet
a dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet

n a pilot's seat in an airplane that can be forcibly ejected in the case of an emergency; then the pilot descends by parachute

ejection seat, ejector seat
Type of:
any support where you can sit (especially the part of a chair or bench etc. on which you sit)

n a spacecraft designed to transport people and support human life in outer space

space capsule
Type of:
ballistic capsule, space vehicle, spacecraft
a craft capable of traveling in outer space; technically, a satellite around the sun

v enclose in a capsule

capsulate, capsulise, capsulize
Type of:
enclose, enfold, envelop, enwrap, wrap
enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering

n a shortened version of a written work

abridgement, abridgment, condensation
Type of:
sum-up, summary
a brief statement that presents the main points in a concise form

v put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume

capsulise, capsulize, encapsulate
Type of:
concentrate, condense, digest
make more concise

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