To recapitulate means to go back and summarize. At the end of an oral report, you might say, "So, to recapitulate, I've made three points," and then you name them.

Recapitulate is a long, scary-looking word that actually means something simple and easy. It comes from the Latin re- "again" and capitulum "chapter," which comes from the word caput "head." Think of recapitulating––or recapping, for short––as putting nice little caps on all the bottles you've opened up––tightening everything up.

Definitions of recapitulate
  1. verb
    summarize briefly
    “Let's recapitulate the main ideas”
    synonyms: recap
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    hash over, rehash, retrograde
    go back over
    type of:
    resume, sum up, summarise, summarize
    give a summary (of)
  2. verb
    repeat stages of evolutionary development during the embryonic phase of life
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    type of:
    double, duplicate, reduplicate, repeat, replicate
    make or do or perform again
  3. verb
    repeat an earlier theme of a composition
    synonyms: repeat, reprise, reprize
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    type of:
    play, spiel
    replay (as a melody)
Word Family
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