from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small soluble container, usually made of gelatin, that encloses a dose of an oral medicine or a vitamin.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Microbiology A mucopolysaccharide outer shell enveloping certain bacteria.
  • n. Botany A dry dehiscent fruit that develops from two or more united carpels.
  • n. Botany The thin-walled, spore-containing structure of mosses and related plants.
  • n. A space capsule.
  • n. A brief summary; a condensation.
  • adj. Highly condensed; very brief: a capsule description.
  • adj. Very small; compact.
  • transitive v. To enclose in or furnish with a capsule.
  • transitive v. To condense or summarize: capsuled the news.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A membranous envelope.
  • n. A type of simple, dehiscent, dry fruit (seed-case) produced by many species of flowering plants, such as poppy, lily, orchid, willow and cotton.
  • n. A sporangium, especially in bryophytes.
  • n. A detachable part of rocket or spacecraft (usually in the nose) containing crew's living space.
  • n. A small container containing a dose of medicine.
  • n. A weasel.
  • n. in a brief, condensed or compact form

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a dry fruit or pod which is made up of several parts or carpels, and opens to discharge the seeds
  • n.
  • n. A small saucer of clay for roasting or melting samples of ores, etc.; a scorifier.
  • n. a small, shallow, evaporating dish, usually of porcelain.
  • n. A small cylindrical or spherical gelatinous envelope in which nauseous or acrid doses are inclosed to be swallowed.
  • n. A membranous sac containing fluid, or investing an organ or joint. Also, a capsulelike organ.
  • n. A metallic seal or cover for closing a bottle.
  • n. A small cup or shell, as of metal, for a percussion cap, cartridge, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish (a bottle, medicinal powder, etc.) with a capsule.
  • n. A small casing, envelop, covering, etc., natural or artificial, usually thin or membranous; a cover or container of some small object or quantity of matter. Specifically.
  • n. In botany, a dehiscent pod or seed-vessel, either membranous or woody, composed of two or more carpels, which at maturity becomes dry and opens by regular valves corresponding in number to the carpels, or twice as numerous.
  • n. In chem.: A small saucer made of clay for roasting samples of ores, or for melting them.
  • n. A small shallow vessel made of Berlin ware, platinum, etc., for evaporations, solutions, and the like.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, a membrane or ligament inclosing some part or organ as in a bag or sac; a saccular envelop or investment: as, the capsule of the crystalline lens of the eye; the capsule of a joint, as the hip.
  • n. In anatomy, some part or organ likened to a capsule: as, the adrenal capsules.
  • n. In Protozoa, the included perforated test of a radiolarian.
  • n. In entomology, a horny case inclosing the eggs of an insect, as those of the cockroach. Also called oötheca.
  • n. A cap of thin metal, such as tin-foil, put over the mouth of a corked bottle to preserve the cork from drying.
  • n. A small gelatinous case or envelop in which nauseous medicines are inclosed to be swallowed.
  • n. The shell of a metallic cartridge or of a fulminating tube.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a shortened version of a written work
  • n. a spacecraft designed to transport people and support human life in outer space
  • n. a structure that encloses a body part
  • v. enclose in a capsule
  • v. put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume
  • n. a pill in the form of a small rounded gelatinous container with medicine inside
  • n. a dry dehiscent seed vessel or the spore-containing structure of e.g. mosses
  • 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
  • n. a small container


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Latin capsula, diminutive of capsa, box.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French capsule.


  • SCOTT SIMON, host: Now, different kind of time capsule - Chad Matheny, a Los Angeles-based musician who records under the name Emperor X, his capsule is a cassette of his music and he buries it in the ground, then tells his fans to find it.

    Digging For Tunes With Emperor X

  • I believe a capsule is the most cost effect means of access to LEO.

    How Best to Access the ISS-and LEO? - NASA Watch

  • The little picture of the capsule is actually 'in the background' and not threatened by the visually impressive falling debris.

    Ares 1 Abort Study Update - NASA Watch

  • With respect Bernie, Constellation isn't a stunt, a capsule is the best vehicle for returning safely from the moon and mars especially with the Ballistic speeds involved.

    Where Next? - NASA Watch

  • A billion in a capsule is the minimum recommended.

    Plentiful Probiotics

  • Here in a capsule is the dilemma that confronts all Canadian universities, but that looms up most insistently, I almost said, most menacingly, at the University of Toronto: how do we preserve the University as a place of learning, scholarship, and research when it must adapt itself, during the course of the next few years, to doubled enrolment.

    The University and the City

  • Measurements of the thyroid are taken two to four hours after the capsule is given and again the following day.

    Thyroid Uptake and Scan

  • The state could lose 1,000 jobs if the capsule is canceled.

    Obama tries to get support of space plan off ground

  • "We always had hope that they would be alive and now to see the capsule is exciting," said Carolina Lobos, 26, daughter of Franklin Lobos, a former football star now trapped underground.

    Chilean miners start training for rescue

  • The capsule is about half-a-meter wide and includes an oxygen supply and a phone to communicate with rescue crews on the surface.

    Chile Minister: Rescue of 33 Trapped Miners to Begin Wednesday


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Regarding the space program, this term is not preferred by those who fly, because it connotes passivity by the people who actually operate the craft.

    July 24, 2009