Meaning of CAPSULE in English

I. ˈkapsəl, -(ˌ)sül also -ps(ˌ)yül or -psyəl noun

( -s )

Etymology: French, from Latin capsula small box, diminutive of capsa chest, case — more at case


a. : a membrane or saclike structure enclosing a part or organ

the capsule of the kidney

an insect egg capsule

b. : either of two layers or laminae of white matter in the cerebrum:

(1) : a layer that consists largely of fibers passing to and from the cerebral cortex and that lies internal to the lenticular nucleus — called also internal capsule

(2) : one that lies between the lenticular nucleus and the claustrum — called also external capsule

2. : a closed container bearing spores or seeds:

a. in seed plants : a dry dehiscent usually many-seeded fruit composed of two or more carpels and releasing its seed at maturity through pores or by breaking into valves — compare pod ; see fruit illustration

b. : the spore sac of the sporogonium of a moss — called also theca, pyxidium


a. obsolete : an earthenware saucer for roasting or melting samples of ores : scorifier

b. : a small shallow cup or boat (as of porcelain, platinum, or glass) used in chemical manipulation to hold a substance being heated


a. : a gelatin shell enclosing medicine

b. : any similar gelatin container

5. : a metal seal over the cork of a bottle

6. biology : a viscous or gelatinous often polysaccharide envelope surrounding certain microscopic organisms (as the pneumococcus or many plantlike flagellates)


a. : an extremely brief condensation : outline , survey

capsules of information too small to contain extended discussion — William Bridgwater

b. : a small quantity or amount : a little dose

capsules of history given to students

8. : a compact usually detachable receptacle

watches operating on energy capsules

9. : a small pressurized compartment for an aviator or astronaut for high-altitude flight, space flight, or emergency escape

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to equip with or enclose in a capsule

a capsuled bottle of wine

2. : to condense into or formulate in a very brief compact form

capsuled the news

III. adjective

1. : extremely brief and condensed

a capsule biography

capsule coverage of the news

2. : small and very compactly arranged and equipped

a capsule submarine

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.