recapitulation

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re·ca·pit·u·la·tion the·o·ry

the theory formulated by E.H. Haeckel that people during their embryonic development pass through stages similar in general structural plan to the stages their species passed through in its evolution; more technically phrased, the theory that ontogeny is an abbreviated recapitulation of phylogeny.

recapitulation

(rē′kə-pĭch′ə-lā′shən)
n.
1. The act or process of recapitulating.
2. A summary or concise review.
4. Music Restatement or reworking of the exposition in the tonic, constituting the third and final section of the typical sonata form.

recapitulation

the apparent repetition in the embryological development of an organism of stages similar to those of the ancestral adult forms which, in terms of evolution, preceded it. The concept is expressed as ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’. For example, gill slits appear in the development of the human embryo.